Home Again

Now that all the little the details of settling in a new home are in place: beach chairs, kombucha scoby, house plants, shower curtain, ect, and the flurry of company has come to a quiet close, I am feeling a good dose of homesickness.  My sadness is mixed with an entertaining sense of irony that I am pining for the South Carolina country side while watching gorgeous sapphire waves of the Pacific crash on a quiet beach in Hawaii.  The heart wants what the heart wants.  My heart wants to go home.  My heart is also once again confused about where home is.

I remember studying about death and dying in nursing school and learning that when we lose someone, we mourn their loss along with all the other losses we have experienced (and more intensely if it was not fully processed.)  The trauma digs up all our shallow graves and resurrects old pain.   As I have cared for many families in this situation I have found this to be true.  As family and friends processed their pain of the current loss, they almost always told me about other loved ones they have lost and were often surprised how acute the old pain suddenly became.

This is how I feel about home.  I am missing my little farm in Campobello, surrounded by beauty and neighbors I came to love as family.  I miss our animals, the trees and flowers we planted and the many wonderful people who lived with us throughout our season there.  This sadness has reawakened my homesickness for Fairbanks and my lifelong friends, secret blueberry patches, amazing gardens, camping spots on private river beaches, bright summer nights and the winter aurora shows. My homesickness is not limited to geography, I am also mourning the end of parenting children- they are now lovely adults who I thoroughly enjoy, but I miss dressing them in cute bib overalls, flipping triple batches of blueberry pancakes, cuddling on the couch while reading classic literature aloud and kissing them while they dreamed.  All of this was home, and I can’t return.

When we left Hawaii, I missed it something fierce.  But even when you can return, it is never the same, because we are not the same.  I am five years older and wiser (I hope) and I have new experiences, opinions, soft spots.  My life responsibilities have changed as I morphed from the all-consuming role of mom to the one they occasionally call for recipes and shot records.  I suppose I am at a season/age of great shifting and I’d probably feel homesick even if we hadn’t changed locations.

It is strange how closely pain and pleasure exist.  As I have allowed my sadness some space to exist this past week, it has walked hand in hand with so many sweet memories and a reminder of the incredible richness in my life.  All these losses come from the fact I have been blessed beyond measure.  I have always lived in the midst of mind blowing beauty- from rugged Alaskan wilderness to volcanic Hawaiian beaches to the African bush to French vineyards to idyllic Carolina countryside.  I’ve been blessed with an ever present loving Father, children, a loving husband, high quality friends and extended family. I am far away from most all of them right now (thankfully Kona has some of the best friends I ever had, and one final childJ) but in the missing I am also reminiscing the gift of their presence in my life.  These people and places will forever be a part of me.  I don’t need a tiny house in order to bring my home with me.  That’s what the heart is for.  With all this moving, I have come to appreciate Google maps, but maps can’t lead me home. That’s what love is for.  So once again, in the midst of heavy homesickness, I recognize that I am home.  And in a way, I get to keep it all- because with open hands (versus tightly clenched fists of ownership and fear) my heart has grown big enough to hold it.

I suppose this will do while I mourn the loss of  my SC front porch

13 Replies to “Home Again”

  1. Back in Hawaii!!! Wow!! do you know what you’ll be doing there? Blessings on you! Is Scott still working in Alaska? Blessings on your future! Joyce

  2. Praying daily for you as you mourn the loss of the farm. May God continue to guide you and your family.

    David P Wilson


  3. You are one of the most precious woman I have ever met. I also, had the opportunity to travel but mine was as a locum tenure nurse for 15 years. During those years of travel, I had the pleasure of making many friends. However, you are at the forefront of all of them. There is no other like you! No, not one! You opened up your heart and your home to so many of us in SC. We will forever miss your smile and your kind spirit. To know you is to love you. You are loved and will never be forgotten. I pray your kindness, your love and your Christ-like compassion will live on in SC. I know wherever God may lead you, many will be blessed by your presence. With much love and sadness,
    Debbie Kidd

  4. Love You Leigh’s !
    You are in Our Prayers 🙏❣️ We have been through so many seasons of change too. Fond Memories

  5. Can’t tell you how much I love this post… how much I love your story and how you tell it…So much truth packaged in the perfect words. Especially what you said about grief. I think your new blog title is something about being home…

  6. What a great post Lalena. We miss you here in the Carolina’s. It was nice to have at least one family member close enough to visit with for a change. It’s a shame our lives have to be so busy with taking care of daily responsibilities and broken bones lol that we can’t make it to see those we love more often. I hope that God leads you back here, but I know that wherever He leads you will follow. Just know that your family feels the same as your friends. We feel blessed to know you, to have you in our lives and to love you. Prayers, peace and blessings to you my sweet cousin and precious friend. Love you!!!❤️❤️❤️

  7. You’re on the mark in my opinion. God is our home. We come from god and we will return to god. Along the way we are called to walk each other home sometimes for a day, a month or longer.

  8. This is so wonderfully written and inspiring to me in my time of change. You never know what tomorrow holds but you always have the blessing of today. Aloha.

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