‘You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.’
– Miriam Adeney
Now that I’ve been home for one month, I figured it was about time to write again. There have been several things I’ve felt inclined to write and reflect on over the past several weeks, but I’ve landed on what is probably the most obvious topic, home.
Having moved back to Canada last month and being back in my hometown for the summer for the first time in three years, it still feels kind of odd to be here, but lovely at the same time. I’ve loved being able to spend time with loved ones I’d been missing for so long, to go to mass at my home church for more than two weekends in a row, to visit some of my favourite places in the city, and go for runs almost every morning in my favourite park. Getting together with my friends and not having to say goodbye for several months after just one visit has made me very happy.
It’s true that I now have little pieces of my heart scattered all over this country and other places around the world, and though I might spend more time than I should missing people I cannot see, I count it all as gift. The longing for homes around the world means I’ve been blessed with love in so many places and by so many people. Each person in my story was placed there for a reason, and I’m so grateful for the blessing to have been able to travel and learn and develop relationships with such varied and unique people.
‘It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.’ – Eric Roth
I feel like I’ve been reconnecting with my roots, fitting back into place here. Every time I return, I’m a little different than the last time. There are differences at home each time too, but the rates of change are not the same. Adaptation is a skill that has definitely been rapidly developing in me since beginning university four years ago. I certainly have more to learn, and I haven’t always been grateful in the moment for the times I’ve simply been forced to adapt, but I’ve come to like being forced out of my comfort zone. There is nothing quite as effective to help me learn and grow. I seem to have lost my contentment with comfort.
As I was preparing to leave Uganda, I said that to a friend of mine, and she asked me to clarify what I meant. It’s not that I don’t appreciate comfort. I do. Don’t we all? However, I’m not longer content to live a life of comfort when I know so many people don’t have that luxury, and I have the power to do something about it, even if it is one small thing at a time. Katie Davis once said, “sometimes working in a third world country makes me feel like I am emptying the ocean with an eye-dropper”. Just generally trying to eleviate suffering in the world feels like this. But it all matters, one more drop, one more life touched. It’s worth it every time.
So, as my next move rapidly approaches and the summer flies by, though minor stress about school in the fall is beginning and thoughts of all the things I still have left to do before moving to Europe threaten to steal my peace, I will remain rooted. Rooted not just in my home for this short season, so close to many I love, but most importantly, rooted in my best friend and my God, who always remains faithful, who never changes, who is my true home and the source of my peace and my joy, always.