Friday, September 15, 2006

Pondering Not Whining

I wasn’t really sure what I’d blog about today until I read the today’s entry over at Squawk Radio. The blogger of the day asked what would be your idea home if money were no object. It’s a tough question for someone like me who has no real home, a fact that has been brought home (if you’ll pardon the pun) in the last year as we’ve moved from the Illinois to DC to Delhi to Nairobi. But that begs the question what is home?

My father always calls Ireland home although he hasn’t lived there in almost forty years. Hubby refers to San Diego as home even though he hasn’t lived there full time since before I met him. I myself often have difficulty with this question when asked. Although Hubby’s family is in the States and that’s where we head first on home leave, is that home? Is Canada home since that’s where I grew up?

In a few days I will be headed to that most holy of all homes: my childhood home. But that is neither here nor there because one’s childhood home is always a perfectly faded sepia photograph of perfection, even the parts that you stuffed into the crawl space with the spiders and other gross things.

Obviously, my real home is wherever Hubby is. Ok that may have been both too easy and too cheesy an answer to be wholly true. Don’t get me wrong, it is true, it just isn’t the entire truth.

After all, everyone has traveled and stayed in hotels and at the end of a long day of doing touristy stuff said that they were ready to go “home” even though home was a hotel room. That would suggest that home is simply where we stow our gear. But if it were that easy I wouldn’t mind our current suitcase lifestyle and I wouldn’t be craving permanency like a meth addict on a binge.

In Delhi, Hubby and I had the first part licked fairly quickly. Within a week of arriving full time in Delhi we had moved into our apartment in Golflinks and even bought a few new pieces of furniture. But it still didn’t feel like home and, as my long term Devoted Readers may remember, I was slightly mopey. But the brooding ended on the day my “stuff” finally arrived the movers helped me unpack.

(HINT TO FUTURE EXPATS: If you can only bring one piece of furniture with you from home, make it your bed complete with mattress and linens. You can buy tables and couches and stoves but you simply cannot buy a good night’s sleep.)

I live for that day a few weeks for now when I can truly call Nairobi Home (complete with a capital H). I’ll apply to our landlord to hang pictures on the walls. I’ll alphabetize, organize and obsess. Moreover you will, I’m quite sure, be able to read about the entire process as I put the finishing touches on our new Kenyan lives.

Maybe where I stow my gear, where my husband lays his head and where I feel comfortable unpacking my things are all part of Home. Is it more than a place? Is it simply a feeling of contentedness and happiness? Who knows! Either way, I’m headed to one home on Monday and will be flying back to another in three weeks. And there’s room in my heart for both.


Anonymous said...

Home is where the heart is, so it is said by someone important, famous or something.... I think it can be a multitude of places but mainly it's about where people are. I never lived in Ireland but I do (as you know) occasionally refer to our trips there as going "home".
See you soon...
Merthyr still in Windsor

Anonymous said...

Siobhan, this is Amy/Azaelia... we're really worried about you, you've been gone a month. Please let me know where you are, or if you know Siobhan, and there's anything I should know, please tell me. I'm a friend of hers from, at Dolphin Camp.

Or post a message at Dolphin Camp. I know that sounds unusual, but I am seriously concerned.

Anonymous said...

Hello's been a month, where ya at?