The first year is hard. That’s what other Americans have told us. They said it took them five years of living in New Zealand before home meant here and not there. We are not even seven months in. Sometimes it feels like the time is flying, at other times crawling. Why are we here? It is breathtakingly beautiful. I like the sociopolitical system better than what currently exists in the United States. People seem happier and friendlier. Are these good enough reasons to call this place home?
Lately, an unconscious silence between Mary and I about discussing going home has lifted. My thoughts are filled with the logistics of going home. I sometimes dream about going home. We said we’d give it a year and it’s barely been six months. We said we’d give it a year, but I don’t think we ever actually agreed on anything. Kind of like we were never explicitly clear about why we came here in the first place. About the best reason we can come up with is that we did it “because we could” and because at some earlier point in life we said we wanted to move to New Zealand. But did “we” say any of this or was it just me? Sometimes it’s hard to untangle the wants and desires of the couple from those of the individual.
Home. I always refer to back there as home, though when I was there, I often felt homeless. Will I ever feel at home anywhere? Sometimes I glimpse it in the quiet spaces when my mind is still. I see it in the sunrise. I feel it when I am in the presence of love and laughter. I know that home is not a place. It is a way of being, one that I have difficulty maintaining during the tumult of everyday life.