Have you ever grappled with a relentless notion that burrows its way into your very being? A thought that surfaces repeatedly throughout your day? A feeling that something is not quite right? I have a persistent voice in my head and my heart which seems to be growing stronger. The voice is questioning, confused, and consistently wondering, “Where is home?”
What is this insistent voice that demands I attend to my living situation? It makes me feel lost, unsettled, adrift. Does the voice resurface due to the season? Changing seasons have always triggered an inner need for reassessment. They have required a guiltless relinquishing of what has not been successful and the embracing of new possibilities. Could it be the fact that I am traveling less? Perhaps the voice persists merely because I am fortunate to have options and attend to its calling?
Is it the fact that it has now been seven years since I was left in a place where I had not been eager to come? Could it be only that I have never lived in one place for so long – and never completely alone?
I am not unhappy living alone or where I am. I am comfortable in my surroundings. I have made many friends. However, the calendar pages turn. Time continues to march forward. I am nearing the age of seventy. Do others at this age long for more and frequent ties and connections with those that remain in their lives? Do we all experience growing feelings of isolation and disconnection as we grow closer to the end of our time? Is there a greater sense of emptiness when we reflect upon joyful memories from the past?
I have longed for closer proximity to my daughters since I left them to relocate with the husband who then left me.That feeling intensifies with each visit. I yearn for the connection of spontaneous moments together which do not require long drives in traffic and the packing of suitcases. I have a deep desire for easy interaction and impulsive moments of connection. I long to share routine activities and impromptu gatherings on a regular basis. But there is no guarantee that even if I return, they will remain close. Relocations are common in today’s world. The passage of so much time since my departure has allowed their lives to evolve without me.. They routinely suggest that I return. Yet, their lives are busy. Their schedules are full. They have many obligations. Would we actually find time when we could be together?
There seems to be no easy answer. The quandary remains. I have built a comfortable life here. I have fulfilled a lifelong dream of writing. I am building a supportive professional network. I have a circle of sincere and caring friends. I am eager to continue to move forward. I am grateful to have the option of returning if I choose. It is my one regret that I moved so far away. Yet, we bloom where we are planted. Perhaps an important lesson has been learned. Sometimes we need to lose what is dearest to us in order to discover ourselves.