Monday, July 23, 2018
A home in ourselves
My niece, Arrianne, took that wonderful photo of a place called Woodhaven in Jamaica. Everything about this picture slipped inside me with a familiarity deeper than memory. It's enough to make me homesick for a land where I have not lived for going on forty-three years. Sometimes, when the news gets especially cacophonous, I imagine moving back there. But then I remember my children are born here. This northern place is their home and so it is my home, too. Home might be a land somewhere, but home is also the people you love best, and wherever they are planted, so you are, too.
I had so much contact with my kids at the beginning of last week, I found myself pining for them at the end of the week. And yet I knew I had to let them be, release them yet again to live their lives, without trying to hold on, as I often wish I could do. Everything is so alive for them, the world such a playground, their friends so joyfully present, it makes me nostalgic for my own youth sometimes. I think they have embraced their twenties with more conscious exuberance than I ever allowed mine. What do they know that I didn't? Is it because they grew up in this city and know it like a native, while I was making home in a new country at their age? In any case, watching them from a wholesome distance, I feel sometimes that I squandered my youth, and why didn't I appreciate all that I had, worrying instead about what might be?
Things turned out pretty well, really, so all my brooding was time wasted, a thief of what was. I am trying these days to simply be present for what is, and when the day feels lonely, accept that too, knowing it is never the absolute or lasting truth.