Thursday, September 29, 2011

From Home to Home

Title courtesy of Richard 
Our new home

Richard and Marianne have been living in the UAE for about fifteen years now.  The other day Marianne said to me they are going home for the holidays.  Home, for them, still is South Africa, after all these years.  Another dear friend of mine, Tani - previously from across the hall, now from across the world - said to me one sunny Friday afternoon that she’s going home for the weekend; she hopes she doesn’t get lost - she’s never been there.  Her parents moved to Jeffrey’s Bay, and for her, home was where her parents were.

During my years in boarding school, I remember watching people through my bedroom window jogging in the streets below, thinking - they’re going home.  Although I returned to my parents’ home from time to time, it never quite felt like home.  My life since school pretty much kept me moving, never staying in one place for long enough for it to become home.  There were places I've slept, places I've lived in, decorated, even renovated, but nothing has ever felt like home.  Or has it?  Am I looking at the wrong definition of home?

Complete with opulent staircase :) 
I’m not sure the living in one place thing has ever really had great appeal for me.  It's hard to explain:  One of the most interesting couples I’ve ever come across was on bicycles in Sinai.  They met while they were cycling from two different parts of the globe, he from India and she from Sweden.  They travelled together for a while, eventually fell in love, married while ‘on the road’ and when I met them they had a five year old daughter.   Yes, she was born while they were travelling and have been travelling with them for all her life.  They were thinking (I almost want to say sadly) of settling down when I met them, in order for their daughter to attend school. 

That, I think is my ideal:  to travel with the ones I love, having the world as my home, the important thing being the fact that we are together – SHARING LIFE.  And that is what we are doing.  It is not always easy – but the worthwhile things aren't, are they?  So from home to home we live, sharing life.  Our home for this part of the journey turned out to be this enormous villa:  Lots of potential for living, for being happy.  We have to create it, for creating our own happinesses is such an integral part of living a good life. 

When we left Dubai the previous time, not sure if we’re ever coming back, we went to my parents’ home, where they took us in, gave us shelter and comfort, looked after us and helped us get strong.  Yes, then we were home, and now, we are busy making another home.  We have tried to settle down for so long now; when we returned from Dubai early 2003/4 our children were around five, we wanted to settle down then, so that they can have the stability of one school in one town.  It didn't work.  In Hopefield I even planted a tree, hoping that those roots will be able to keep me there, but it didn't.  It is just not in our makeup - I think. 

Marble floors all over - this is the landing - possibly breakfast room - upstairs
Perhaps this time we’ll be able to stay, if not for ever, for a long while at least.  We’ve received our residency visas today; we just have to do a visa run to Oman for it to become official. And then, at least on paper, we will be residents. 

Noun: A person who lives somewhere permanently or on a long-term basis.
Adjective: Living somewhere on a long-term basis.

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