Now that all the little the details of settling in a new home are in place: beach chairs, kombucha scoby, house plants, shower curtain, ect, and the flurry of company has come to a quiet close, I am feeling a good dose of homesickness. My sadness is mixed with an entertaining sense of irony that I am pining for the South Carolina country side while watching gorgeous sapphire waves of the Pacific crash on a quiet beach in Hawaii. The heart wants what the heart wants. My heart wants to go home. My heart is also once again confused about where home is.
I remember studying about death and dying in nursing school and learning that when we lose someone, we mourn their loss along with all the other losses we have experienced (and more intensely if it was not fully processed.) The trauma digs up all our shallow graves and resurrects old pain. As I have cared for many families in this situation I have found this to be true. As family and friends processed their pain of the current loss, they almost always told me about other loved ones they have lost and were often surprised how acute the old pain suddenly became.
This is how I feel about home. I am missing my little farm in Campobello, surrounded by beauty and neighbors I came to love as family. I miss our animals, the trees and flowers we planted and the many wonderful people who lived with us throughout our season there. This sadness has reawakened my homesickness for Fairbanks and my lifelong friends, secret blueberry patches, amazing gardens, camping spots on private river beaches, bright summer nights and the winter aurora shows. My homesickness is not limited to geography, I am also mourning the end of parenting children- they are now lovely adults who I thoroughly enjoy, but I miss dressing them in cute bib overalls, flipping triple batches of blueberry pancakes, cuddling on the couch while reading classic literature aloud and kissing them while they dreamed. All of this was home, and I can’t return.
When we left Hawaii, I missed it something fierce. But even when you can return, it is never the same, because we are not the same. I am five years older and wiser (I hope) and I have new experiences, opinions, soft spots. My life responsibilities have changed as I morphed from the all-consuming role of mom to the one they occasionally call for recipes and shot records. I suppose I am at a season/age of great shifting and I’d probably feel homesick even if we hadn’t changed locations.
It is strange how closely pain and pleasure exist. As I have allowed my sadness some space to exist this past week, it has walked hand in hand with so many sweet memories and a reminder of the incredible richness in my life. All these losses come from the fact I have been blessed beyond measure. I have always lived in the midst of mind blowing beauty- from rugged Alaskan wilderness to volcanic Hawaiian beaches to the African bush to French vineyards to idyllic Carolina countryside. I’ve been blessed with an ever present loving Father, children, a loving husband, high quality friends and extended family. I am far away from most all of them right now (thankfully Kona has some of the best friends I ever had, and one final childJ) but in the missing I am also reminiscing the gift of their presence in my life. These people and places will forever be a part of me. I don’t need a tiny house in order to bring my home with me. That’s what the heart is for. With all this moving, I have come to appreciate Google maps, but maps can’t lead me home. That’s what love is for. So once again, in the midst of heavy homesickness, I recognize that I am home. And in a way, I get to keep it all- because with open hands (versus tightly clenched fists of ownership and fear) my heart has grown big enough to hold it.