Writing Group Topic: The Experience of Home

Home. Well that’s such an interesting subject to me, one I’ve been thinking about often – being that I have moved so much. From the age of 15, I think, is when I quit putting down roots – that is when my mother died and I moved to my aunt’s, where the hope of moving as far away as possible (USA) was the only thing that kept me alive… I am not exaggerating here. Ever since then, I have always had my eyes on the horizon – where hope was – and my feet itching to move.

These days, of course there is nothing I am running from any more, but I think that much of this got ingrained during “formative” years and I have to consciously work against it. I love where I am: my work, my friends and people around me – I am in a very good place, and I am tired of moving. Yet, my eyes are on the horizon and when I feel anything negative, I look for ways out. Some of that surely has to do with my love for America and the fact that I would move there tomorrow if I could, but some of that is also baggage from the past that I no longer need.

I’m very much with Joy that there is no such thing as a completely fulfilling “home” in this world – God has put eternity in our hearts, and I have tried very much to ignore that when I was an atheist. But now I know why. And I think that the experience of home is all about relationship (and obviously the most incredible and fulfilling relationship is that with God, which will be complete and full but isn’t yet).

I get homesick, but I have often asked myself, where am I homesick for? It’s the people, not the places. With how much I’ve moved, I am homesick for several places (so I can’t win anyway, even if I were to go back there!), but it’s not so much the places – although they are what invokes nostalgia and memories. When I go back to a place I’ve lived before, I do get emotional about all the places but it’s not because of the places themselves as it is for what they bring back to me. What I really miss and am homesick for are the people left behind, the relationships.

Because I am single without a family, I live a fairly relationship-less life – that is to say, there are no deep, daily, intense relationships in my life. Friends are wonderful and over time they get to know me to an extent, but other than with God I have no really intimate, deep relationship. I can only imagine what it must be like to love and lose somebody (that did happen with my mother but it’s still different, and I was young) – to have that kind of homesickness for a person whose presence has felt like home. That’s the way I feel about God and it’s such an ache at times… not that I’ve lost him, but that I want the fullness and not just the taste.

Maybe I live a safe life this way. I certainly fear that kind of pain, of losing someone I truly love. Perhaps that’s one reason why I don’t love anybody like that.

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