I am missing home.
I have never once, in the entire duration of my course at Taylor’s College, experienced this feeling of homesickness. And now, barely four days out of the water, in Puchong, I surprise myself.
Back then, I used to plan my trips back home such that I was never back for more than five days. I only went back because, well, how can you not go back at all when you’re only a four-hour drive away? But you could almost say I was afraid to go home, afraid that the harmony of my day-to-day living would be jilted by the way my home functions. Every time the fifth day of my trip back home came around, I would be happy to pack up and leave. Not that I hated coming home, no, it’s not like that—five days just felt like the right amount of time to visit. See, it was a visitation. More than that, and the day-to-day friction and tension at home would tip my day-to-day living way off its precarious balance. To be avoided.
This holiday, I spent more than a month back there. That’s when I realized that unknowingly, home has slowly taken its good, wholesome form again. The nest and safe refuge. The place that yells at you and fights with you but welcomes you back all the same. The place that pampers you richly and offers lazy rest. It offers what’s good for you too: healthy food and enforced discipline (at least, my home does that). Laughter that abounds and rings all around the rooms! Can you believe? No, this is not idealistic, happy writing. It’s for real! The good and the bad, all mixed into a lovely concoction.
And then I realize, I’m healing. It springs into your lap, sometimes, catches you unaware like a nimble cat. Or like a bunch of beautiful flowers thrust into your hands; you turn your head and you realize the boy is gone. It makes your eyes crinkle up as your heart smiles. I’m healing, relationally.
In Singapore, coming home was just a desperate countdown to burst free of the pressure cooker.
In PJ, it was numbness, mostly, and carefully timed visits back home.
I wonder what I’ll feel when I go to Australia. Maybe the yearning for the comfort and familiarity of home will hit me full force then.
19 January 2010
Listening to Enya: On My Way Home