Thursday, June 19, 2014

Home sweet home

It's been a month since I first arrived in this beautiful country. This blows my mind. I can easily recall the first night I came here feeling really overwhelmed.
This year for me has been a crazy game of "how fast can you adapt to a new environment". It started with college, which was also overwhelming. College is a lot like being thrown into the hunger games, except instead of killing people as fast as possible you have to befriend them as fast as possible, and instead of being stuck in a dome for a week, your stuck on a campus you can't navigate and you can't go home until the next break. So it's not really like the hunger games at all, but the feeling of rushing through everything is the same. The rush to make friends, the rush to feel at home, the rush to adapt.
Once I finally felt at home in Chicago, we moved from my hometown in MA to a suburb of Houston, TX. Transition time again. Again, I felt rushed to make this foreign land feel like home before I felt homesick and wanted to go back to a place I knew I wouldn't return to for a long time. Lucky for me, Texas soon felt more homey in a few weeks than Massachusetts ever did in my 18 years living there, thus proving my theory that I was a southern belle in a past life.
Once school ended, my next and biggest transition came: moving to Guatemala for the summer. Getting back to my first night here, you can now understand why I was a little overwhelmed. After constantly transitioning to new environments for the past year, I was growing weary of the rush to adapt to new places. At that point I questioned if I even had a home anymore.
However, in just the past month this place has become more homey than I could ever wish for. In fact, I've perhaps become a little too comfortable here.
Little by little, I feel myself forgetting what it's like in the States. It's hard for me to conjure up a picture in my mind of what my hometown of Spring, TX looks like, feels like, smells like. The feeling of air so humid you could drink it has been replaced by the cool breeze from the rolling Guatemalan hills. The feel of the sharp, thick Texas grass under my feet has been replaced by cool tiles and rocky, uneven sidewalks. The chill of the frigid Chicago air that used to numb my face has been replaced by the feeling of the warm sun kissing my freckled skin like and old lover. The sound of busy city life- cars honking, ambulances wailing, footsteps on the sidewalk, have all been replaced by the sound of rain on tin roofs that lures me to sleep. The smell of city pollution has been replaced by the smell of fresh tortillas and black beans cooking in the kitchen. Little by little my memories of the states have been fading, and I find myself having to look at pictures to remember that there's more to this Earth than this beautiful country, and that in forty-something days I will have to go back.
I never planned on being this fond of a place, especially since I knew that this may be the one and only time I come to Guatemala. But at the same time I am so thankful that God has made a secure place in my heart for this country and all the people in it.
The question, "where are you from?" still stings a little, because at this point I honesty don't know. I grew up in Massachusetts but hated it and I've lived in Texas for a while and I feel Texan but now I'm spending my whole summer in Guatemala just to confuse myself even more... I don't know where I'm from. I don't know where home is. Is it where I can feel the sharp, thick grass under my feet? Is it where the air is so cold it numbs my face? Or is it where I fall asleep to the sound of rain falling on the tin roof above my head? When I ponder this, the verse John 15:19 comes to mind. I'm in this world, but not of it. My home isn't on Earth, it's in Heaven with my Father, the God who loves me so much He put on flesh to show me the way. With that in mind, I can't wait to go home.

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