Listen to episode 274 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spirit of Family | Coming Home | Life & Traditions. Edited and adapted from “By the Fireside” by Charles Wagner.
Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have benefited from this podcast, please let me know by leaving us a review at the iTunes store, Google Play, or Stitcher.com. Your reviews are greatly appreciated and help others find our podcast. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from By the Fireside, by Charles Wagner, published in 1901.
Let us talk today about the home, whose very name is so full of suggestion and memories. The roof is primarily a shelter. Cold and heat, all the inclemencies of sky, urge us to build it and protect it. The person who lacks this refuge lacks everything — and to picture in a word the degree of want, we say of a person that they are homeless. Would we have, on the contrary, a perfect picture of the happiness of civilized life, we may find it in a family circle — unbroken, old and young together, under the protecting roof, round a cheerful fire, where the evening meal is bubbling in a great pot.
But the roof is something besides a shelter. It is a center of stability. If we had no need of it for cover and defense, we would still feel driven to find somewhere in the world a corner of our own — to attach ourselves to some familiar spot. True, life is a journey, and we are all on a pilgrimage. But every one of us is in search of a home.
The most intrepid traveler, the most indefatigable explorer, cannot exist and be always on the road. When distance has lost its enchantment, and our passion for adventure has cooled, when we have braved dangers and looked upon wonders, desire wakens in our heart to find a resting-place. The more countries and peoples and things we have seen, the greater becomes our thirst for a fixed abode, for the peace and the affections of a home. The Wandering Jew himself sighs for but one thing: to make a halt, and that forever.
A sure refuge, a rallying-point whither all our ways lead us back — that is what I call the roof-tree, the true abiding home. It is one of the material forms in which our spiritual nature manifests and interprets itself. Humanity has need of creating a world in its own image, so that we are better able to live fruitfully — and our dwelling place is this world in miniature.