Welcome Home!

"Welcome home!" was the enthusiastic greeting I received from the silver pony-tailed attendant at the check-in booth of the Kerrville Folk Festival. "Welcome home!" smiled the young woman to whom I paid my fee to keep my truck in the campgrounds for the duration of my Memorial Weekend stay.

When Dana asked me one of her favorite questions, "How did your _____ (this time it was my weekend at Kerrville) touch your soul?," I was surprised to find that those words, "Welcome home!," were still resonating deep within me. I heard myself acknowledge that it felt good to hear the words spoken by a total stranger, and yet, due to our common interest in live, original music, perhaps, it hadn't felt like I was greeting a stranger at all. It was the beginning of thousands of us sharing in an experience that was almost instantaneously familiar . . . and imbued with warmth.

In response to Dana's question I began to analyze why those two simple words had evoked such an emotional response in me. "Welcome" I experienced as "You are wanted here" and "home" purporting to be "a place of sanctuary." "You are wanted here in this place of sanctuary!" Now tell me that doesn't make you feel warm and safe!

As I continued to ponder this most fascinating matter, I was reminded of a client of mine who was talking about his feelings of loneliness and insignificance upon arriving home after a day at the office. Apparently, it was not unusual for him to return home to an empty house. If people were home, he might be met by catatonic nods from his video-game-playing children or a finger waggle from his telephone-encrusted wife. How "You are wanted here" must that have felt?

So what does this have to do with intentional living? Everything! In all honesty, how much energy would it take to intentionally be waiting to greet our loved ones when they walk in the door of our "home," their place of sanctuary? As much energy as it takes to play a video game or converse on the phone? Probably not even that much. And yet, how powerful can such a simple act and those two words be towards making one feel wanted, safe, and appreciated. Try it out for yourself. The next time your loved ones arrive back home, to their place of sanctuary, make sure you are there to "Welcome" them "home!"