If i had to choose a word for today, it would be 'nostalgic', a little 'sad', maybe 'wistful'.
The kind of day where years ago I would have walked the back dirt road behind the tennis courts, lemon trees in the night breeze, floodlights on the field where the rugby team practiced .. a deep blue sky and quiet night-time peace .. walking walking and space for thoughts to gather in the silence, broken only by shouts from the field and the crickets in the long grasses.
Today is a day where the conversations have been about moving - one to across the country and the other, far more personal to me, has been about moving home. Home. Should be where I am now. Right here. Home is where the heart is after all. But what happens when one leaves pieces of one's heart scattered in different places, unintentionally ... what does one do then ? One can't always find those pieces again to gather them up - sometimes they take root or go wandering on their own and then there is always that feeling of something missing, not being quite complete or at peace where one is.
That's how I feel sometimes .... today is one of those days. I started writing this blog because I want to step off the fence I have been sitting on for so long, to start doing more and putting myself out there just a little bit, one tiny step at a time. But sometimes all of this is part of why we paint, what occupies our thoughts - and so it is all part of the journey. What we feel sad about, where our thoughts to. So i guess it is OK to write about this too.
I was born in South Africa and left when I was 24, to go travelling before it was time to settle down. I went to England planning to save up enough to get to South America and then i met my husband and next thing I was doing the very thing I swore never to do. I got married and got a real job and we bought a house ... and then we were there and we kept saying one day at a time, one more year ... and then a decade passed, and then some more ... and we missed home - it was always home to us - we missed it deeply. But we got used to that ache and had a good life in England. We had adventures and friends and there were new chapters in our story. Then it was time to leave and we came to the States ... where we have been for 5 years now. We are hoping to stay and are waiting for our Greencards to come through but our lives have been on hold on so many levels, these past 5 years. Are we staying ? Where do we want to live ? When can we buy a house ? Can we ? When we can finally buy curtains that match and furniture we know we can keep with us instead of just thinking about the short term ... when can we really put down roots and feel like we are part of a community. That we belong, finally, somewhere.
I feel like i belong on three continents .. each of those places is home. I have friends flung across the world in England, South Africa, France, UAE, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and here. Part of this life is saying goodbyes and knowing that it's all part of the story ... part of the ebb and flow. But sometimes it's just that bit harder than others and sometimes I want it all to stay the same. Want all my friends to be just around the corner, able to pop in for tea or a last minute glass of wine. I want to feel rooted and at home and that feeling of belonging. It has been a very long time since I felt rooted like that. Sometimes I don't want friends to leave or move on. Not even to the next town.
Last year I went to the Art Expo in New York and saw the work of Dragan Sekaric Shex ... he had some paintings on display about leaving, migration, families and goodbyes and they hit me really hard ... if i had had enough money to take one home with me i would have. One of my favorites is 'Eternal Travellers.' His paintings are beautiful and soulful and very sad but they capture how I feel about all of this sometimes.