There are days when I wish I had a proper internal navigation system–like one whose accuracy rate is just a wee bit better than my own. I may only admit this once, and please never remind me of this statement again. But sometimes, I lean towards bad decisions. I lean into these bad decisions so hard, like an off course boat in a gale wind, but I do it with such surety, and I very much convince myself I am on course. Even tonight, as I sit here looking out on the yellow buoy in my front yard, I wonder if I have steered my family in the right direction, there is a tiny devilish angel sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear that I am, indeed, on course. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this exact moment. But is this voice right? I may never know.
Well, the aforementioned “devilish angel sitting on my shoulder”–the only one that has ever guided me in any direction whatsoever–has never really led me too far off course in all honesty. Most of my decisions, while not entirely thought through, have been pretty good ones. I have a wonderful husband, intelligent and hardworking kids, a distant family who loves me and friends all over the globe that I adore. We are employed, generally content and have a wonderful roof over our heads. What could be wrong, you may ask?
Well, I’ll tell you. I have no concept of home whatsoever. “Home,” to me, looks like the next head of a pushpin into a map of some distant city on this great, big earth into which we could settle–only for a short time, of course. I am not even sure I care where it is, so long as it has friendly people, book stores, an art scene and good schools–my priorities right now. I wish my children knew intrinsically where their “home” was as my husband and I did as kids. It was so easy back then. Now, I fear our kids might become “global orphans,” at worst, or “global citizens,” at best, but I still wish they knew they had a place that was home: home to their parents, home to their grand-parents, a place where beloved pets were mourned and buried and place where we marked each inch they grew on a wall in their bedroom that we could giggle about when they are all grown because they are close to all grown. Sometimes, I wish they had this. Today, I wish they had this.
Tonight, this nomad is a little homesick, but she has no “home” of which to be sick or which to speak. I turn to this Yellow Buoy for some navigation, but it says only “why are you looking at me?”
Yellow Buoy in My Front Yard.
Thank you, Todd Baker, for sharing this Pico Iyer TED Talk with me. It’s so relevant that I thought I should post it here. If you have a second and have ever wondered about the notion of “home,” this talk is for you!