28.2.09

my country tis of thee

Being an American is a funny thing. Growing up in a country of intangible heritage and undenialable culture. Having the ability and opportunity to go half way across the world, fall in love, change your life, only to once again find yourself ordering a non-fat extra-hot five dollar coffee... as American as ever.

I never thought I could simultaniously love and hate a place so much as America, but now I'm thinking that it's a dicotomy that accompanies all places of "home". Without a doubt I have left a part of my heart there, a part of my family, a part of my life.

But despite the fact that I feel a similar incompleteness that was so common while living in Uganda and missing America, on this side it is a bit different. My ability to function here is almost as natural as breathing. I can instinctually locate a bathroom or a drinking fountain. I can read even subtle body language and pick up information from overheard conversations.

Maybe it's because this is my first home, and maybe it works like first love. Even if it's not the home you're currently seeing, or the one you choose to commit to- it's always the first. The best known, the longest loved, the most easy to return to in times of great fear, saddness, of joy. There is something there that doesn't need to have explinations or appoliogies. The deep unspoken connection is both comforting and disturbing in turn, but generally unchagable.

I don't know what it will be like to readjust, to be myself in this place again. But I do know that there is a time for everything under the sun-
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones,
A time to embrace and a time to turn away,
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
And I'm convinced that now it is time for me to return to my first home and see what awaits.

2 comments:

Nadia said...

Beautiful Susan, I can't wait to get to meet up with you and hear all your stories! Glad you're back...

Krista Lynn said...

welcome "home"! I totally know how you feel about not really being sure what really is home. is it africa? or USA? ohhhhhh culture shock! can't wait to hear stories... none the less SEE you! love ya lots!