a foot in two worlds

In the past year our lives have been pulled out of their comfort zones, and tested and tried time and time again. We have lost a loved one to the vilest disease, we have left behind friends and family that have been our support for ever, we have moved to a country that is 11000km away from “home” and had to try and adjust to “new” language and new culture. We have made some new friends, but still long for the comfort of old friends. We lost a much wanted baby, at only 7 weeks pregnant. Relationships have been tried as well, and most have come out stronger, and some have been seemingly irreparably damaged. We have been blessed with another precious life that’s growing, and should join us in September. We have seen so much more of the world and met people who have changed and challenged us.

Considering all of this, I sit and wonder, why so many people can immigrate and integrate seamlessly into their new country within months, and others, like us, have one foot in each country, and yearn for “home”. I have tried to create home here, and I have done my best to make a house a home, I have realised though, that it’s the people that make a home. Yes, having us 4 together is obviously home, yet, there is always a vacuum. Extended family, friends, those people who make a place home. Many people tell me that you eventually make friends in your new country that are as good as family, and that may be true, but they can not replace those who have known you since the beginning. Those people who know why your nose is bent a bit (thanks to extreme clumsiness and impatience), those who know that you used to be a vehement feminist and didn’t want children, those who know that when you wanted kids it was hard to conceive. Those people who have seen you at your worst, and love you because they know behind the sarcasm and the aggressiveness, is a fierce friend who loves deeper than many can. Those people who know that sometimes all you need is a hug, although you shun affection. Those people who have left marks on your heart, and on your skin. Those people who were your first advisors, your first champions, your heroes, the people who were always there… but now they’re not. Those people you miss like there is a physical chasm in your body, heart and mind.

I feel like this sculpture by Bruno Catalano, like there is a massive hole where people belong. I’m not sure I will ever be fully at home in an adopted country, my heart beats to an African drum, and the smells and sounds of my beautiful home country call to me daily. Maybe one day they will call us home.

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