I drafted this post while I was on my way from Melbourne, Australia to Singapore.
I am about two thirds of the way through my three month odyssey. One of the topics I have been thinking about a lot for a long time is “home”. My reflections have been borne out of many experiences, some of which I’d like to share, as I have a hunch that they’re important, somehow. I guessed that travelling literally so far away from home for so long could only enrich my reflections, and so far it really has.
In this post I’ll simply list some of the things I’m missing about home. Perhaps that will help provide a glimpse into what home could mean.
Things I’m missing:
The comfort of my own bed
Not having to keep packing all my stuff up into a suitcase
Not having to keep checking I’ve got travel documents to hand
The days getting shorter for winter (my body is really missing that at the moment somehow. At St Kilda’s beach, which is a beautiful spot in Melbourne, I caught myself thinking, “How come the sun hasn’t set more than that yet?” even though I didn’t want the day to end, it had been so beautiful.)
The crisp cold sunny blue sky autumn days Sheffield does so well
The people – my housemates, friends, normal phone calls to family (though in fact I’ve had more communication with some people through photos and messages, WhatsApp and this blog than usual, it’s not the same)
Our cat Xena (Warrior Princess) who’s probably still scared of the cat flap (mental note: must ask for a progress report on that!), and must surely need some strokey time from Aunt Ali by now
Knowing where stuff is and how to go about getting what I need or how to get from one place to another without looking it up online or having to ask somebody
The rhythm of our household, including times of praying together, our quiet days (although I’m managing to build in some lovely quiet times and days or half days here and there), eating together and with other friends, our household’s lovely long brunches
The rhythm of other groups I am a part of – our simple silences, meals, reflections, body prayers (I’ve done a few while I’ve been away, but here’s a mental note to do more) and local companionship with people in Contemplative Fire
Cooking, and knowing what’s in the food I’m eating
Singing in the choirs I belong to
The Peak District/English countryside and coasts
…I’m sure there’s more, but that’s a taster anyway.
In the meantime, things I’m not missing:
The news about Brexit (pretty glad to escape this to be honest, hoping if there’s anything requiring a vote that I’ll be back in time for it)
Having to pick up my medication
My usual pattern of building up huge amounts of laundry then having a blitz. (Turns out I quite like only having so many clothes and doing one load of washing more regularly rather than two loads less regularly. I’ve been fortunate that so far washing facilities have been great everywhere.)