Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Am Lonely for my Home


I just watched The Sound of Music again.  I suppose that's enough to make any young girl feel a rush of emotion, and yes, I admit to feeling perfectly wonderfully, absolutely jealous, and completely dreadful during all the happy love-y scenes, but you know what struck me most?  Their dedication to their homeland.

Austria is awfully close to Switzerland.  Now I feel homesick.  That terrible sort of lonely feeling when you miss a place so, so much that you absolutely can't bear it, but you must.  I felt that last summer when I was there, and now I would give anything to be there.  I want to go home!  Yet I am home.  How can I reconcile wanting the ocean and the forests and the wilderness of this island, and the majesty only the Swiss alps can hold, the distinct feeling that I belong there because I was born there.  As if there is an invisible pull to both the place one is born, and the place one grows up up, I feel divided.

But right now, I just miss Switzerland.  Die Schweitz, und Thun, und Adelboden!  The language, its sweet, sing-song, qaint little sound, no matter how frustrating the barrier.  I miss the rivers, and the air, and my family.  I miss my dear, sweet Aunt, and my cousins who are so lovely and gentlemanly.  I miss missing here and knowing I am there.  I miss the lake, and the castle, and the bells.  I miss being frustrated at how English has taken over.  I miss the nussgipfelli, I miss the cobblestones, and the strange mix of old and new.  I miss the trains and the busses and how they are always on time, and I miss how oddly expensive everything is.  Not because I like all of those things, though many of them I do, but because it's home.  I can't explain it any other way.

It's just a lonely, wonderful, terrible sort of feeling, and yet it is so lovely to be in love with such beautiful countries, to be able to call them my homes, and, in less than 6 months, to be able to vote in both!

In any case, I shall leave you with many hugs and a picture or two of my beloved Switzerland...

Psalm 121:1

I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.



Maria Pauline said...

My dear Sheila,

I know exactly how you feel. There is something deep and powerful in culture and language and geography and food and music and air and life and family. It shapes who I am. It pulls me to the mountains of my homeland.

I've realized that this is a side of me that doesn't appear in my everyday life. Sure, I'm different, but a lot of that is for other reasons. I think a lot of the people I interact with regularly have a hard time understanding me because they can't understand the culture etched upon my heart.

I also wonder if part of it is that I was torn away when I was only half-grown. That somehow it has made me long and feel so much more. What I miss most is my family, for my mother's family isn't much to speak of. Yet my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins so far away are so beloved to me, though I have spent so little time with them.

At the moment, I can think of four and a half homes-- the prairie, the valley, the mountains, the 4-H building, and camp. Each means something different to me and influences me when I am in those places.

I think that this tug-of-war has made me realize more than others that this life is but a journey. It doesn't much matter whether I am here or there because regardless of where I go, my heart will long above all for my home in heaven. It's also made me value family and culture and creation more.

It's all part of who I am. It hurts, but I love it.


Maria Pauline said...

I forgot.. but I wanted to share a song with you. It's by Hanne Krogh, a Norwegian singer. I can send you the song if you want, but here's a rough translation of the words. They've meant a lot to me over the years. Haugaland is a place in Norway.

I don't know what's happening to me
but something important has changed
Recently I've felt that I
am somewhere else
I have sung old songs and they have
reminded me of what was once
of who I am and where I came from
Helped me to see

Have I ever told you
that in all I did you were with me?
Haugaland, I hear your voice
and now I'm coming home
But if I seem foreign
there's no where else I can go
for Haugalandet is where my heart is from

I have sailed through storms without shipwreck
Proof for everything we must prove
Lost friends it was right to lose
But some came to stay
I have played with love - only to pierce
Stolen dreams. I deny not
I have pushed myself. Heard the clock tick
Life flies by


I have woken her for the last time
in a lonely room with that empty ring
of nothing. the warm fire
burnt out just now
But I feel clearly where the road goes
and I know what I'll do tomorrow
When cheeks are kissed, good byes said
I'll travel here from


So I know that was choppy. But you know how it is. And you can actually find the song here:


Sheila said...

Thank you Maria! That's beautiful!