Over the past year, the delivery team at Community Warehouse has become an important pillar of our services to local families in need. Advocates have the option to schedule home delivery for their clients after they have visited the Warehouse to select their needed furnishings. This service is essential for clients who are without a way to transport their sofa, kitchen table, and more. Currently, our delivery crew makes two to four deliveries daily.
One afternoon, while on delivery, one of our team members spotted something interesting as they stepped inside the client’s new home. At the threshold of the apartment, where you might find a welcome mat or a scattering of shoes, was a home plate…a real home plate, like the kind you’d see at a major league baseball game. The delivery team made several trips back and forth from the delivery truck, bringing inside the home furnishings the man had selected that morning, each time stepping over the home plate at his door. Finally, they could not contain their curiosity. When they asked about the home plate, the client explained that he felt like he’d been around all of the bases in life, from first base through third with some rough spots in between. After carrying the plate for a very long time, he finally had a place that he felt he was home safe.
When a house or apartment is outfitted with furnishings, an empty space becomes a living room, a cold spot on the floor becomes a warm bed, a vacant kitchen becomes a place to make toast, share meals, tell stories.
In order to sit and think about the journeys through life that bring us home, we need a place to sit. Before crossing home plate, this man needed a place he could call home.
Baseball, one of the oldest of America’s favorite sports, serves as a poignant illustration of how we move through life. Whenever we first leave home, at the sound of the ball striking the ash wood bat, we hit the ground running. We may be on our own for the first time; we take off sprinting towards whatever our first base might be. There are challenges at every turn, someone or something that might impede us, making us weigh the odds so we can make it to the next base. Do we sprint against the time bomb of that hit to left field? Can we fake out the pitcher and steal Second? Sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we’re tagged out of the game. Sometimes we slide into the next base with all the daring of a skydiver, or the subtle courage we muster to take the first steps towards getting back on our feet. As we all make our run around the bases, each of us is looking for our own version of home, whether we’ve been there before or not. But for those who make it all the way, sliding into home plate in a flash of dust and grass-stained knees, there’s no mistaking the feeling of being home.