The Ache for Home

My son is my home.  My daughter is my horizon;  so my father confided to his friend.  I've always ached to travel and experience the world and even at the time Dad mused on this  (before mobile phones or even email) I was deep into the MidEast and Africa with a backpack, dropping postcards in the mail like a trail of crumbs.


But the ache for home lives in all of us, says Maya Angelou. I learned that on the open road.

Now we are all at home. Solitariness, self-imposed or not, is descending on us day by day as city streets empty, restaurants and watering holes close, weddings - no everything - postpones if it does not cancel.

I wonder if we can love it - this much home.  

Of course, we are scared, not just of a silent virus but of the sound of a crashing economy.  The strange slipping away of life, jobs, income.  Artisans write to us at Ibu . . . all afraid, too, that their livelihood may vanish, their lives tumble into fear.  They, too, are quarantined, anxious, alone.  

The whole world, it seems, is huddled at home.  Each of us in our very different places:  refugee tents in South Sudan, stone cabins, felt yurts, mud huts or glass houses.  And yet . . . and yet . . . just in that place of home we are most connected.  

For the first time I can remember, there is no place to go; no horizon to chart my way.   I must stay put, and all of my lessons lie here at home.  How to hold hope when every vessel is breaking.  How to stay strong when every established order has been weakened.  How to be at home, and yet connected to all.  

That is what Ibu invites me to belong to, again and again; virus or no virus.  How to be so truly at home in my own skin, my own place on earth, that I am at home in all the world.  For, if we didn't know it yesterday, we know it now.  We are all in this together.

with an open and grateful heart,

Susan Hull Walker