Stranger in my hometown

I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older, or if it’s because the ones I love are getting older and passing on? But I went back “home” the other day to do an errand and the strangest sensation overcame me as I was getting closer to town.

I moved away from my hometown right after high school. I guess part of the reason I moved was to find adventure, to find a job, to make a life. The rest of the reason, and probably more of a driving reason, now that I am honest with myself, was to run away from the pain and loss. The feelings of betrayal and being unseen, that threatened to destroy me there. It is crazy to think that a person can be so unaware of their own motivation in the moment.

As things turned out, for multiple reasons through the years, I did not get back very often to visit. The few times I did the town would be changed, the buildings, the businesses and even the people. I remember still talking like I belonged there, that it was my “hometown”, it was part of me after all. But as time past the people were foreign to me, the names unfamiliar.

This visit was different. As I approached the little village, that I had spent many hours walking around, playing at the park, buying candy at the store, I was overwhelmed by a sensation of loss and of not belonging any more.

It came to me, I am a stranger in “my own home town”!

Many of the anchors of my life, grandparents, the farm, aunts and uncles are gone from there. The family that remain and my friends all have lives I barely know anything about. Social media reveals some things, but really what happened to the meaningful relationships? Jobs, kids, finances, responsibility get in the way of connections.

Life was different back then. How far I have traveled away from connections, that I thought would never end.

Time is fleeting, and sometimes cruel. Moment by moment, it moves on, and we can only see the shadows of the time that have passed through our lives.

Where is my “home” now? I realize that “home” is really not a place at all. “Home” is a community. “Home” is connections. “Home” is family and friends that spend time together.

As for time? It is time to make time for our “community” and find the joy of belonging with each other! Time for building “home”!

(P.S. Anyone from “back home”, that wants to connect or reconnect, would really love to hear from you!)