This song popped into my head today. I can almost sing it by heart due to many years of attending church services with my family. I no longer attend Sunday morning church services but I do get that warm fuzzy feeling whenever I hear one of these old hymns.
I grew up in the south. My grandmother was one of 13 children. She wore cat-eye glasses, made the best biscuits and lived on a farm. Life was simple, but sweet. I didn’t realize how special that time was until… recently. My grandmother and dad have both passed on, and my mother now lives in assisted living.
I now take care of the home where I grew up. Although I live in Atlanta, I make weekend trips to Winder to care for the property. At first, this was a burden because I’m a city girl and have a life of my own here. I never intended to move back to my childhood hometown. Wasn’t it Thomas Wolfe that said, “You can’t go home again”? Well, I think you can.
What I’ve learned is that if I do go home again, I can’t expect everything to be the same. However, if I breathe new life into my old home, I can transcend what was and find joy in new experiences rooted in family traditions.
This new outlook has brought me joy. When I visit my childhood home I sit in a chair that overlooks the property. The deer roam freely and seem to welcome to me.
I can sometimes hear the ghostly laughter of my brothers and sisters playing in the woods. We’ve all moved on but this home is still a home and it has a promising future of happy reunions and new family traditions.
The song “Ode to Joy” is uplifting and transcending. It inspires me to open my heart, look forward and trust in life. “Joyful music lifts us Son ward, in the triumph song of life.” What a sweet song!