Where is my home? I am far from homeless yet far from home. I do consider myself lucky, I am blessed with family and friends, I have a great job, I am free to travel, I love people and I am happy to be by myself too.
The world is my home. I have traveled it, explored it , savoured it and made friends far and wide. We are in touch, they visit me in Japan and NZ and I have visited them. Home is people. These people touch me in so ways with their kindness and wisdom.
My home, as in place of abode, is Japan. It is more than just the place I live. I love the culture, the food, the countryside and I have meaningful relationships here with wonderful people. They too touch me, they care for me and welcome me into their homes.
However when asked “Where is home?” my answer is New Zealand and more specifically Christchurch because that is were my people are. That is where my family is, my mum, dad and sisters. We are in touch, the internet is a wonderful thing and even living so far away there are touches of my true home in my Japan home. I have pictures of my family, my gorgeous niece and nephews, I have my Grandma’s engagement ring. They can transport me to my home, my people, at a glance.
But for me the thing that tells me I am truly home, the thing that I miss while in my many homes away from home, is the physical sense of touch.
I know I am home when I pull up from the airport and my dad is at the door and down the drive before I can close the taxi door. I am enveloped in a bear hug and a kiss on the cheek. Mum is close behind, beaming and arms outstretched. The brushing of hands as we share a meal and pass the salt, holding mum’s hand and helping her up from her chair, walking arm and arm in the park, sitting shoulder to shoulder, laughing and jostling on the couch with my sisters, messing up my nephew’s well coiffed hair, patting the dog, these small physical touches touch me.
My folks are getting older now. Every time I go home they seem a little smaller and vulnerable. They used to wrap me in their arms and I felt small, safe and cocooned. Now it feels the tables may be turning. It makes every hug, kiss and helping hand that more important. I was recently home for 5 lovely weeks. One night I sat quietly with the folks, they both dozed off, eyes closed and quiet little snores burbling away. I felt a sense of being home with these beautiful people.
Wherever I am, I know I can make a home quite happily by myself but my true strength lies in the fact I know I always have people to go home to.
In Response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – A sense of Touch and Writing 101
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu