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26 August, 2012

"Home ???"

While waiting to disembark the plane in London, the steward smiled at me and said, “Welcome to London.  Are you going home?”

“No,” I answered, thinking how weird it feels to not be going home, but to a new place.

“Oh, then you are on holiday. Enjoy your holiday!” was his cheery response.

My heart skittered a beat or two.  This is not my idea of going on holiday!  So I wondered, “Am I going home?  I mean, I am on my way to Kampala.  I will live there for the next several years.  Am I going home?  What should I have said?  Should I have said “yes?”

“But it doesn’t feel anything like going home.  No kids traveling with us.  We won’t have our household stuff for who-knows-how-long.  Don’t know my way around the neighborhood and beyond.  It doesn’t feel like going home.”

Echoing in my head I hear myself telling our young children, “Home is where your pillow is.  Even if we are in a different place than we have been before, if we are going together and our pillows are there, we can say we are going home.  Soon it can feel like home.”

“Ok, my pillow is in one of the myriad pieces of luggage traveling with us.  Jeff and I are going together.  Yes, I can say I am going home.  Hopefully soon it can feel like home.”  I repeated this to myself several times in the airport, talking myself into the reality that we are going home.

But it didn’t feel like coming home.  Nothing seemed as familiar as home.

And yet….the morning after our arrival I awakened to familiar birdsong.  Musical sounds my heart has been longing for during the last year…the birdsong of Africa.  Even if it included pied crows cawing and ibis “maaaaahing” it is familiar and sounds like home! 

I look out the front window and see a “yesterday, today, tomorrow” bush with its purple, lavender and white blossoms, and it looks like home.  Blueband (margarine) on the counter, Hobnobs (oatmeal cookies) on the shelf and it seems like home. 

Beating African drums loudly pounding familiar rhythms in accompaniment of a church choir down the street call my heart to worship.  I close my eyes and even in the empty living room of our house I feel at home.  My heartbeat dances to the drum beats even while singing with the birdsong.  The sights and sounds of Africa….and my pillow on the bed.  Yes, soon it can feel like home.



Anonymous said...

Very good, Christine! God is so good.
I love reading this report and I rejoice with you in "being home".
Love, Marcile

G Richard Powell said...

We rejoice this morning in your rejoicing, Christine. God is indeed so good.
Richard Powell

Elizabeth said...

A new place cannot be home right away, it tales time, but I have confidence that it will become home shortly. Love you and sending my prayers your way, hoping my body will follow shortly

Mike said...

I loved reading this post! Your descriptions of the things you are hearing and seeing in your new home painted a vivid picture in my mind! It may not be too accurate, but it helps when I think of you two, and pray for you as you start in this new place.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to share in your blessedness.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I can hear the birds, even though it's been a long time since we heard them in Africa.
And those drums- beauitful. I think they are a wonderful sound.

You may need to begin now with the recording of these wonderful sounds. Listening to have to sound when you are in the USA and homesick for the music of Africa.

Blessings in your new home,

Anonymous said...

Welcome back home. Praying for you as you settle down. Brian Mutai

Sheila said...

Thanks Christine - I had forgotten about the "yesterday, today and tomorrow" bushes - a lovely remembrance of "home".

Nancy Almquist said...

Continuing to pray for the two of you. It's amazing how much sounds and smells can make something seem like home. I am confident God will bless your obedience and show you additional blessings - ones you didn't expect. Keep your eyes open.

Much love to both of you!