As I ponder on the meaning of Home
I notice the universal sound, Om.
Om, Sweet Om – When do we get to go home?
Is Om, the sound of our universe, Home?
However hard we try, some places will never feel like home.
And sometimes we stumble upon a place and our heart sings: OM!!!!!!
I guess a place feels like home when we feel at peace with ourselves and the world by just… being there.
Could it be that once we are at peace with ourselves and the world around us, then we will feel at home everywhere we go? This fuzzy, homely feeling will be with us, for good?
I do think so.
She was waiting for her next patient to settle. While she was reading across her notes, the woman was lying prone on the table, with blocks supporting her hips. She could see that her legs weren’t quite straight as she noticed that her feet were not quite next to each other.
She started to apply pressure on the lower back of the patient. The woman’s body tensed up instantly and she let out a noise.
“Tell me if that’s too much for you…” she asked politely.
“Just do what needs doing” replied the woman in one short breath, as she was trying to breath through the pain. Her answer was short and direct, with a foreign accent.
She waited a few minutes for the tension to be released. Then she started working on the other side.
After a while, the woman lifted up her head and asked:”Do you sometimes miss North America?”
She felt caught by surprise, as she actually never allowed herself to think about it.
“Well, I’ve been living abroad for 21 years…” She started, a bit unsure.
She paused and thought : “Abroad? Is this still abroad, after all these years…”
“During that time, a lot has happened. Friends and family members have moved away, some passed away…” She continued.
She paused again and repeated silently to herself : “Yes, some have passed away…”
She has never allowed herself to think about this either.
She tried to remember the last time she visited Canada. Was it during a flash visit to quickly check in with the family or was it for her mother’s funeral? She wasn’t quite sure… Somehow this question made her feel very disconnected with the word “home“. It felt like a far off, distant land.
The woman on the table carried on: “Do you feel at home here?”
Where is home? Does she feel at home here? Sure she has made a life for herself here, in this country. She left her home country 21 years ago and has lived in many places. How did she land here again?
The trail between her existence here and the city she was born in seemed very thin and sinuous. It started in Montreal, then went on to Toronto, Clearwater beach on Tampa Bay in Florida (where her dad now lived), Paris, Ireland… All the way until… right here, right where she was standing. A treatment room, in her own clinic, in a small town in the south east of England. She doesn’t even live here. She lives over an hour away, if the traffic is clear. So why here? And is this home?
She realised that she has been silent for a few minutes, leaving the unanswered question floating in the air, like seaweed floating in the ocean.
“Well, I think so… Yes…” she said as if she was trying to convince herself.
She thought about “back home“. Her family moved away years back. The few friends she can think of left many moons ago.
Was home just a distant memory? A ghost from the past? Was home her childhood memories, being part of a family that is now so scattered that she can’t even remember when was the last time they were all in the same room?
Or was home the life she created for herself over here? Was her workplace where she spent most of her time, home?
“Turn onto your left side please” she finds herself saying, mechanically.
She started to feel disorientated. She made all of the usual physical adjustments on the woman’s back and neck, while talking about the fact that despite being born in Montreal, she couldn’t speak French as her family moved to Toronto when she was five.
The treatment over, she glanced over at her phone. She opened the text that had landed in her inbox ten minutes ago. It was him, saying that He was cooking dinner tonight and was asking her what time she thought she would be back?
She smiled. She took a long, deep breath. Now she knew what home meant.