This is not a blog, nor is it an article. Maybe it’s a letter. Or nothing? Just a simple manifestation of my thoughts in writing. Call it what you may.
I’ve been trying to define the meaning of home for about 20 years now. What is home? Who is home? Where is it? Am I allowed more than one? An extension of home, was my identity. I realized, it couldn’t be defined. And this realization set me running in a field as large as this world, with no fence around it. It’s a feeling. It’s the feeling of grilled white cheese with toasted sesame bread and mint tea, while Fairuz sings her stories in the air of your tiled kitchen. It’s the feeling of labaneh and your own special blend of zaatar that compares to none other. It’s the feeling of honey jars in your pantry, and handpicked figs from your tree. It’s the feeling of hugs around every corner of your home. It’s the perfect harmony and balance of the feelings I’ve accumulated, and the lessons I’ve learned.
Home is where you are, and what you’ve taught me. At once, home is also melted popsicles dripping down our fingertips after school. Home is also our quaint street and our peach building. Home is the 20+ years of friendships I’ve built with people from different homes, and the 31 years of love I learned from you.
What happens when home suddenly slips away? What happens when it feels like that steady, red Oriental rug you’ve always kept in our house has been pulled out from beneath your feet? What happens when we don’t gather around your 34-year-old table for lunch? What exactly happens, when the one constant in a life of whirlwind change comes to an end?
The answer? Simple. Let go. The action? Not so simple. It’s hard to let go. I’ve been told, all my life, “the only constant in life is change”. I can hear my mother’s voice persuading me not to fight it. Allowing it to take shape. Change is good. Change is healthy. It’s our lesson to embrace it, accept it, and come out of it all grown up, and dignified. That’s our lesson.
I relate the words “Love” & “Change”. I intertwine their meanings like the grape vines above your garage, or what was once your garage. I also relate the words “Love” & “Home”. So here you see, I’ve created my very own mélange. My triangle of connected dots, pillars, or paths. Refer to them in whichever way makes sense to you. But they’re my bases, and I’m constantly running around them, trying to make it to the home plate. Love. Change. Home.
You are home to me, and you are love. You are the embodiment of love. You are the prophet of love. If there’s anything in life you’re lucky enough to leave behind, aim for love. It lives on forever.
A lot of change has happened since the day. And change is still brewing. The air is thick with it. The house you left behind is missing your presence, and the fruits no longer taste the same. This is the change I’m facing now, and it feels like the biggest one yet. I’m constantly battling with love and change. I love you, but I have to accept. And I want to let you go. Because you want to go. It’s your rebirth. It’s your universal labyrinth. It’s your loving and eternal soul.
I have to let go of the home, that feels like home, since the day I was born. The home you raised us all in – because you were raising us until the very last minute. The lessons continue on. Letting go of this home holds a lot more meaning than any other home I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of. It feels like a lesson in love. A lesson in change. And a lesson to finally define the meaning of “home”.
Love is kind. Holding on to something, or someone, for dear life, may not necessarily mean love, although it sure feels like it at times. Just like anything on this planet, people, plants, brick, seas, rainbows, and tears will come, serve their purpose and then go. Being prepared for both is what I call courage. Learn to welcome and be open, and then learn to let go when it no longer serves you, or when it’s no longer offering its kind service. Learn to feel, absorb, and accept, and then let go. But when you do, let it go with honor. Feel it manifest into something positive, allow it to leave its mark and lessons behind, and then permit it to leave your mind, and body. Allow it to escape from your bones, feel its heavy weight no longer resting in the pit of your stomach, and in the back of your mind. Your feet will feel lighter too. Along the journey of life, lessons are learned. Nestled among them there are daily lessons to be acquired too. I personally struggle with the daily lessons more. Trying to let go of petty arguments, letting go of jealousy, letting go of possessiveness, letting go of heaviness, letting go of rough emotions disguising themselves as love. Let go, let go, let go. Yet, be open.
Do what you need to do, say what you need to say, send it love and light, and then let it go. Don’t confuse letting go, with forgetting. Instead, marry it to love and acceptance. A dear friend once sent me this excerpt from the novel Island, by Aldous Huxley, and it clung to me like jeans on a hot day: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen, and lightly cope with them. Throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…”
You took all seriousness lightly. That’s your secret. It’s how you glided so elegantly and swiftly across this life. Or at least, that’s what you had us believe.
Don’t underestimate the power of longing, and missing someone or something. It’s there at all times. I miss you. I miss your hands, I miss your smile, I miss the way you made us feel. I miss learning from you and admiring your sharp and witty mind. Over the past few days however, I’ve come to accept, appreciate and respect your decisions. You lived a full, enlightened, and eventful 90 years on this earth. It’s selfish to want to keep you. We are so lucky to have you. The both of you, together, have ingrained in us so much, and for that I am eternally grateful. I only hope I can be as courageous as you, sipping wine under an acorn tree overlooking our rolling hilltops, ever strong, ever sensible, and ever loving.
You taught us the meaning of love, you taught us the meaning of home, and for the last lesson you planned for me, you taught me how to take the reigns of change. The love you’ve given me will live on in a stream running through my blood, like the roots of thousand year old trees that have spread through our soil, and as sturdy as the walls and memories of your home. Our home. The meaning of home is love. A home is ever transient, never fixed. It’s never in one place. It’s the love between us all, that you instilled within our souls, and it fills my heart to the brim. Home resides inside me, within me, and I will carry it with me always. And change? A stubborn bull-headed Taurus like me, overcoming my conflict with change? Making peace after a raging war with change? Realizing that stability, comes from change? Yes. This is what you’ve given me. Everything that comes into existence, crosses our paths, or touches our hearts, serves its purpose, leaves its lesson, and then moves on. Our role is to accept, do all things with love, walk lightly, absorb fully, and for the hard part… come out of it stronger, fuller, lighter, and readily armed with more love. Ultimately, it’s how we deal with it that matters.
If there’s anything in life you’re lucky enough to leave behind, aim for love. It lives on forever.
And you live on forever.