Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: The "So Happy" Nomads
By Karen Jimmy
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I’d left “home” years before in search of adventure, or meaning, or some such thing. I went so many places, met so many people, and became so involved with every moment as I lived it that “home” no longer seemed to beckon. Somewhere along my journey, a new friend once asked me, “Where do you live?” Honestly I had no clue what to say, until I spied my backpack leaning against the wall. Pointing, I replied, “See that backpack over there? That’s home, baby!”
My smile was big in those days, and my confidence large, but there was an unmistakable chink growing steadily in my resolve. I began to doubt my happiness as I saw families together, laughing. The more time I spent wandering alone, the more I yearned to know what it really is to call somewhere “home”.
A few years on down the track, I retired my backpack and found my own place with four neat little walls and a row of hibiscus planted under the one big window. It was lovely, a pretty little cottage, but I lasted all of about three days before the loneliness tore at my heart like a carrion bird on raw meat. I had friends everywhere and family too, though most were far away. I became increasingly aware that I couldn’t go on living like this.
Adrift on the wind, going wherever I wanted, was okay for a while but no good in the long term for the human heart- desperately in need of relationship as we are.
Nor could I exist much longer sitting still in my little cottage, pretty as it was and full of all the right trimmings. No, something was not right. I hadn’t yet discovered “home”, for all my searching.
Then one day out of the blue a postcard came my way from a friend far away, with a picture of a smiling, dirty, but sooo-happy family of nomads in Mongolia. everything they owned in the world was piled on top of the rusty blue pick-up they drove, and the caption at the bottom read, “Having a place to go, is home. Having someone to love, is family.”
The words and the picture, so simple and yet so profound in their truth. It hit me, then, that each time I connected with another human being at a café or on a beach, I was with “family”, and I was “home”.
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