Isn’t it funny, that the very place we were born, where we grew up; where our foundation and ideologies formed, easily becomes our strange place? We leave home one day and it becomes the last day we are consistently at home. While our parents wave us goodbye, they barely realize that the same cute teary moment can as well pass off as a huge wailing moment because your little baby just found an out from your home.
This is exactly what Meiran is to me.
I didn’t ‘grow up’ there, no. But that’s where my father’s house is. I barely know the place as mine because from secondary school, to the university, I have treated the place like a lodging home, sure to welcome me for a few days when I have nowhere else to go. And now it feels like everywhere but home is home.
Coming back home today was ‘werk’. On my journey, I had lunch of boiled corns, coconut and ibe; I spent hours in traffic; I had an interesting experince with a water seller; I had an unfruitful detour; I listened to my audio Bible (John 1- 6)… And I still hadn’t gotten home.
I finally got home and I was the earliest to arrive. Father, mother, sister all dragged themselves in late at night. But, then, this is home. And it is where I can laugh without feeling silly; it is where everyone would insult my cooking skills and still eat my food (if I cook); it is where my father would ask me to scratch his back as we say amen to my mother’s fervent and sincere prayers; it is where my sister and my younger brother keep whispering jokes which only them understand; it is where my elder brother and I promise to injure each other while yet smiling at each other (nonsense, really)
Yes, at some point going to Meiran, for a lot of reasons, stopped feeling like going home. But today I realized that home stops feeling like home when you treat it like a building, or an environment, or the journey it takes to get there, and not like the people, the destination and the experience.
This is home.