So we are heading up to Canada on Thursday. In some ways I don't feel like it is quite real yet, but I know that if it did feel real I would feel super excited. So I am super excited about it. Every now and then I think about seeing my family, running with Chester, hanging out ,and catching up with friends, and I get a bubble of joy well up inside me. In these moments I stop and realise Canada has become a home.
I say "a" home because I have a couple of places my heart calls home. South Africa obviously being one of them. It was in leaving Canada that I realise I have found home there. And now Modesto, California is where I live and am making a new home with a new family and new friends. Its puzzling however that it is in leaving that I discover the sense or the feeling, or whatever it is that is "home" to me.
Before I left for University, home was home. it wasn't a feeling, maybe it was a place, it wasn't really something I thought about too much. When I said "I am going home" I simply meant, "I am going to my house, the house where I live ,and where my family live". At University (being away from 'home') I discovered at a very simple level that 'house' and 'home' have different meanings, and feelings even.
Moving to Canada turned my world upside down and the meaning and feeling of home became something more real to me. Alot of the time it is a question; "what is home?" or "where is home?". House is a noun, its an object, a thing, something you can build and create out of materials. It protects you from the elements and stores things from your life, other things represneting your memories.
A home, is more. Ideally its where you feel safe, secure, loved, familiar. I don't even know if it is specifically a place, or if it is more people, or a person. If those people were to move, home would then be where they are. Home is the place you miss when you are not there? The place you want to be at Christmas time. Sometimes home to me is my childhood memories. Memories of my brothers and I on the beach playing in the sand, building sandcastles and dreams.
I only truly understood that saying "home is where the heart is" when home stopped being a place. It moved and changed, it stopped being a house, a noun, something I could see or touch and became only something I could feel, and remember. An abstract noun. I looked up what the definition of an abstract noun is (not being the greatest english student, I could not remember it) and the definition I found is "any noun that escapes your five senses". I like that definition. Today home escapes my five senses, I can no longer see it, or smell it, or touch it, or hear it, or taste it. But my five senses help me remember home, smells, sounds and food evoke memories of home. Home is in my heart, its where my heart is. My heart is in South Africa, and Canada and now Modesto. However it would probably only be in leaving Modesto that I would realise my heart had grown roots.
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body...." Philippians 3:20
I love the verse Philipians 3:20. As someone who's only citzenship is for a country I lived in for the first 11 months of my life, every other place that I now call home I am only a legal alien of, this verse reminds me that my citzenship is not even on this earth, but in Heaven. Home. My life on earth is but a breath in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe we will never fully understand the abstract concept and feeling of home, and why we miss it even when we are home. I will always rememebr my Mom, if she was having a hard day saying, "I just want to go home". I remember being puzzled as a child by her statement as we clearly were at home. I think I questioned her a couple of times about it. But now I understand that longing inside. Maybe it is a longing we all have, and will always have until we truly are home.
All that being said, we are heading up North to my home and my family, on Thursday the 19th of June for three weeks. We are taking 2 days to drive up along the coast, with a stop in Oregon to go quading in the dunes and camp out for the night. I am looking forward to it.
So I will see some of you soon.