Tuesday, 14 September 2010


There comes a point in any adventure when what a person wants more than anything is to go home.

But where's my home? 

Is 'home' alpine mirages, blankets of green, and old cities? Or is it desert hills, fragrant sagebrush, and familiar streets?

The very definition of home is a contradiction most maddening:

(1) a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
(2) the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
(3) the place or region where something is native or most common.
(4) a person's native place or own country.

So 'home' can be most academically split, but can you mentally reconcile yourself to live in a divide?

I'm homesick. 

I live at home, but have come from home.

That bee sting of need for the familiar pierces me at the strangest of times.

When I'm cutting carrots for dinner, I feel my eyes smarting as I think quite irrationally: these aren't as good as the carrots from home. Really not true, but the thought satisfies my need to wallow in a bit of despondence.

I step from the bus and race through the rain as I think: "I can hardly wait to get home and have some tea!" The cozy feeling of dryness and warmth, wrapping me in a blanket of comfort that you can only get from home.

I stand in a grocery store that I once thought delightful (It only sells seasonal produce!) but now find maddening, as the only thing I want is some asparagus even though yes, I realize the asparagus season ended months ago. I just want some fresh asparagus!

I spend six hours on top of a mountain and I feel like I've figured 'it' all out. For too many years I have felt out-of-breath, and I want to bow to this country (to this mountain I climbed) and its horn of plenty and thank it for having afforded me a chance to slow down and darn the holes in my soul, so that when I inhale I no longer fall through the cracks.

But I miss home.

But I love my home.

I miss Canada.  I miss my family and my friends. I miss the open solitude.

I love Switzerland. I love its mountains and trails. I love the culture here. I love the adventures I have.

On a day where I want nothing more than to wallow in depression over how homesick I am, I find myself getting lost in a dream as I discover another beautiful trail.

On a day where I want nothing more than to happily clomp over the cobblestoned streets of my new home city, I find myself slowing down to the point where I'm barely moving. I suddenly realize how far away from home I am and my stomach twists in knots of panic and isolation. They are all living without me. I am living without them. I could leave a trail of breadcrumbs, but I won't find my way back. Not really. Not how it was.

There's no place like home, but you can't have both at once.

In October I leave home to go home for a family wedding and an extended visit.

I'm counting down the weeks until I see my family again. But to go home, I must leave a piece of home behind: Dan isn't able to come. So I'm home, but part is still missing.

How will I feel when I must again leave home to fly home?


mom said...

Ahh Cait...it is always hard. We are so excited that you are coming home and will be sad when you leave to go back home but that is what life is all about. And just think, Ais and Meg will be there to visit you within a month of your getting back home :-)

Love mom

ps I guess I had better get your room ready (ha ha)

Habebi said...

Home is where your heart is and where you make it. Canada is your home and Switzerland will be too in time. Good news is you recognize those thoughts are indeed homesickness and knowing it will help you process it all. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time and space! You are embarking on an amazing journey and the rough patches are just part of the process. Hang on there! Send lots of hugs and good cosmic vibes your way!