I was so happy to return from South Africa.
I went with an open mind and open heart - back to my homeland and I have admitted here that I had no idea what would happen.
We all know I had practically every moment of every day planned but I left space in my head and heart.
I was overwhelmed as we touched down in Cape Town - the tears flowed freely and I let them....
I felt a profound sense of "returning" of "being back" and great joy at feeling so far away from my life but yet so "at home".
A profound joy that I had brought my children to my birth place, my heritage, the land and culture that is so much who I am.
And there was so much to love, to love anew, to love again.
It is a magnificent place to see.
The tourist experience is incredible, particularly in the Cape province. The exchange rate afforded us some luxuries and who doesn't love a little of that on a vacation.
The smells, the sights, the people, the music, the interactions, the friends, the conversations, the family reunion, the laughter, the food, the once-in-a-lifetime moments.... just an incredibly amazing time.
My head and my heart were full to the brim.
So much complexity to think through, discuss, ponder.
A young democracy mourning a founding father and trying to find a way forward that honours the fullness of his vision......and falling short at times. So much potential, so many incredible people with "can do" attitudes, so many opportunities. Also so many gaps, gaping holes in accountability of leaders, a failing education system, an economy in distress....
I embraced the amazing, the good, the potential and savoured it but I did not feel called back to live it. I felt a little crack in my heart as the realisation dawned that this is not my hearts home anymore. It will always be an important place, a land I ache for and miss and long to see reach its potential but I felt the disconnect happen like a gear change in a car.
The joy that can be found in that disconnect is that I left with few regrets.
Other than the real sadness about how far away our family is and how much that hurts us all. It's no small thing and although we have lived with this reality for years it did feel like the bandaid on my heart was ripped off and it felt sore again.
But my fear that I would not want to come back to Canada, that I would feel like this was not home..... that did not happen.
I felt so grateful to be coming home, not just to this place. but also to this life I have been blessed with. To be close to my parents, to have a good job, a lovely home, a wonderful community of friends.
I felt immense peace as we touched down at YVR.
So my reentry was not hard.
I was SO happy to be home and resettled. I tell the story of an incredible trip and wonderful encounters but a sense of joy at being home too. Some of my friends were surprised, other disappointed that I was ok with my disconnection from SA.....I felt disloyal about that at times.
And yet.... and yet in these weeks as they pass, I find myself a little LESS settled or maybe a little less cocky about how happy I am to be home.
Maybe its just me being nostalgic as I edit each new folder of photos, or being a bit sentimental about how much fun it was to be on an adventure with my family, a creeping sense that after an intense year in 2013 I am well traveled but not well rested, but ...every time I inadvertently hit the music button on my iPhone and "Asimbonanga" starts to play..... I weep. Every time my sister-in-law posts a photo of those nieces and nephews I feel an ache in my heart.
So while I know I am home here in Richmond BC Canada.....this is my place.....now
I will forever be a dual citizen.....
I am not satisfied to say I am one or the other..... I don't need to choose.
I am both, I love both.
Each has had a time and purpose in my life.
My heart is big enough to be at home in two places...... or more..... who knows where life might lead next.......