“Welcome Home.”

On August 12th, I found myself nearing customs in Chicago’s O’hare Airport wondering, “What the heck am I doing here?”

I realized I had said that aloud when I got a few looks from my surroundings…a few clampsed lips, as if to tell me, “It’s okay, whoever you are. You’ll be okay.”

I watched as the line kept getting shorter from one end and longer from the other. I looked at fellow travelers, hoping to see someone like me…someone leaving home and going somewhere that was once home but isn’t anymore. Was anyone feeling the same way?  I figured those people are probably in the other line, the people traveling on visas and entering the country for whatever reason it was they were entering.

I glanced left and right, all the while sniffing at the smell of travel. (Yes, there’s a smell, and it’s a weird one when you aren’t going on a vacation. It’s the kind of smell that makes you want to just go back home and never ride an airplane.)

I grew tired of frowning, but the only thing that seemed to make anyone laugh was the security dog sniffing “illegal” items from people’s bags. I decided to laugh a third of a half-heartedly laugh with everyone.

I was homesick, and anyone that knows me could sniff that from a mile away.

As I was walking to baggage claim, I thought of something someone wrote to me on my last trip to the U.S. a few years ago. She was a family friend, and she had wrote, “Welcome home!” I cringed at the words. Home. 

Do the restless every find home?

I wasn’t home. I didn’t feel home, then, and I only feel homesick now. I wanted to write all that out then, being the nostalgic, nomadic (in a sense) poet I am, but I didn’t.

I saw the words flash in my mind again. “Welcome home.”

Do the restless ever find home?

(I intend to keep myself busy with many things, and among them, I have decided to name the new segment of my blog “On Both Sides of The Atlantic: The Diasporic Life.” I think it’ll start speaking for itself, soon. Happy reading!)

 

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