It is a cold rainy night, weather to suit the somber reality of yet another mass shooting in the news. Seeking more than a meal, I wind down the road to the only restaurant in our small town. It is one of winter’s Wednesdays at the pub where folks gather to unwind mid-week, laugh a bit and enjoy our local musicians.

The warm smile of a familiar face asks if I’ll be having the usual. I opt for a change and she transitions smoothly – “I know you like one or the other.” I thank her for her attention.

Some friends are already here; others arrive as the evening unfolds. Hugs and happy repartee create a soothing background hum.

We are blessed with very talented musicians in this rural hamlet. For two hours they perform, transporting us through personal memories and shared experiences. Increasingly the patrons’ attention focuses forward on the music and the shades of our human journey. Collectively we settle into the warm embrace of our community.

The final song encapsulates the scene. Written by Karla Bonoff, known best from Bonnie Raitt’s cover and sung beautifully by our friends, it portrays the sense of belonging and return to the place of heart we call home.

Traveling at night, the headlights were bright. But soon the sun came through the trees around the next bend. The flowers will send the sweet smell of home in the breeze.

 And Home, sings me of sweet things. My life there has its own wings to fly over the mountains though I’m standing still.

Winding my way back up the hill, I am refreshed, heading home from home.