I suppose there’s a natural desire in all of us to find a home and sink into it. I’ve been thinking a lot about nesting lately. In this year of post-college meandering, I’ve seen a lot, had rich experience, loved life and the world deeply. In a chat with a friend, we talked about living abroad, it’s challenges and rewards. “You’re becoming a global citizen,” she said. I loved that description.

In the same way that I am deeply appreciative of my global citizenship (however brief it is,) I also appreciate home. Today, I’m thinking of the tulips blooming at the entrance of Berry College. I’m thinking of the gardens surrounding my mother’s house. I’m thinking of the Atlanta skyline, and of my favorite bookstores. “We’re all just gypsies in this world,” said another friend. But are we? My sense of impermanence is grounded in an imagined belonging. I am not a permanent fixture in Mexico, but Mexico will become permanent within me. In some sense I belong to these three months, this child and this family, and to the work that’s being done here.

However calming those thoughts are, I continue to long for a space of my own in this world. My thoughts of life in the Peace Corps have been problematic because I desire such a deep sense of belonging. For two years, my white face becomes a fixture in the landscape of my placement, and after those two years, I dig up my roots and leave. Will departure always be looming in the distance, threatening its painful separation? I understand, we should live in the moment, we shouldn’t worry about leaving. But if you know you’re going to break up with someone, what’s the point in starting a relationship anyway?

We work towards home, we invest in our communities, we surround ourselves with things that make us feel at home. When I worry, I retreat to this desperate sense of fear and need for home. So often I have demonized that desire, but I’m beginning to think that it’s healthy. One day I will walk through my front door and put my keys in a bowl in the entrance. I’ll walk across the hardwood floors, say hello to my dog and my cat, and open the cupboards to decide what to make for dinner. After dinner, I will tidy the living area, make a cup of tea, and choose a book from the overflowing bookshelves. Then I’ll sit, curled up with my cat and a quilt, and read the night away.

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