Home is an abstract concept and often conjures up images of single family homes, white picket fences, and dogs in the yard. It means family, friends, and love. It is comfort, security, and well-being wrapped up in one.
Home is where the heart is, they say, and this is certainly true. Home is not always a physical structure. It may not have a geographic location or a mailbox with the house number scripted on the side. If home is where the heart is, home can be mobile.
For the heart can reside anywhere so long as it is with loved ones.
His home isn't mobile, but it isn't where he grew up either. Home does not mean the presence of his parents and sister nor does it have a dog in the yard. It houses hundreds of people, and it shelters thousands of books. Home for him is where he'd first learned to stand, learned to walk, and learned to live. Though he'd left it long ago, he knows it will always welcome him back with open arms.
For that is the power of home. It does not break under pressure nor does it bend when its inhabitants wish it harm. It is ever-loving, ever-forgiving.
His home has stood for a century and a half in the woods of central Maine, and he has shared it with hundreds of thousands of others over the years. It is made up of several, weathered Victorian buildings whose stone faces watch the passing of years silently. They give refuge to any and all who asked.
His home has divine magnitude for him.
But, even in the most sacred of homes, darkness still creeps. It hides in the eaves of these majestic buildings, stalks in the leafy woods, and lurks within the blackest of hearts. It waits. It watches. And when he least expects it, it will pounce.
But, for now, it stays in the shadows.
This is a sacred place for seekers of truth. This is a resting-place for the dreamers. This is a haven for the explorers. This is his longed-for home.
This is Hensley.