Life is beautiful for us … for some not so … for others it was until life intervened …
We are so lucky … has anyone experienced homesickness … what does it mean? Missing home, or family, or friends, or all three – and then there's our emotions that affect us so profoundly.
I left home – the home that was security – yet exploring beyond my own realms was actually beyond my own imagination …
|Victoria Falls with its bridge|
I made life easy so used the same language – was able to engage with like-minded people, though different … but I missed home; I couldn't go back – well I could, but I had to give myself a chance living overseas.
Within the environment I embraced … things were much the same … the humour, the music, the books, and yet new memories would be created … I was not going to be culturally bereaved.
|Our maternal homeland|
(I always miss it!)
Now I am back home – in the country I was born in ... and have that freedom that comes from being in a safe place … there are other adjustments that others cannot easily make …
But I can learn … and need to learn to appreciate others' ways of life – the whys and hows of how others think about life away from their roots …
|Look at the other side|
of life too
When my mother was in her last years in a nursing centre … I became more aware of how others' felt – in other words how I was feeling – not being completely in control, as I needed to be with my mother, rather than worry too much about myself.
There are two sides of a hand … the palm, or the dorsal side … I learnt that if someone was frustrating me – I needed to rethink … and used my hand as a metaphor to change my thinking.
|Others' lives are in our hands|
It has made my life easier for me – I can adjust … Life is beautiful – yet it needs to be for all peoples of the world … as a child we are (or should be) born into a positive world … where compassion and thoughtfulness abound – each person helping, caring and understanding the other …
Our world is becoming 'upsy-down', horrific for many, sad for others … so many are homesick yearning for what was …
|Courtesy of: NHS Tayside Mental Health|
Let's help each other have hope – and allow them time to create their own life of beauty …
Ugliness and cruelty are unnecessary
Life is Kind and Beautiful
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
The ability to see all sides of the question, to empathise with others but retain one's own integrity is a lesson long in the learning.
Nice post, Hilary!
Agreed! The diversity of humans is what makes our species so wonderful. I've never understood hate and wish no one had to experience it.
Hear! Hear! YAM xx
Very well said. Love and respect each other, aim for equality and equity. That's a utopia.
If only more people, especially those with powerful influence and money, felt the same way.
Lovely post. Age and wisdom shine through, plus your empathy, curiosity, and way with words. Thank you.
@ Janice - yes ... and I certainly didn't used to ... now I attempt to pay attention - we learn, sometimes long in the tooth! - as you mention the lesson is long in the learning.
@ Jemi - yes all our cultures have so much to offer to each other - and now we need to work together for others' benefit. I too wish no-one had to experience hate, or bullying ... or threats of ...
@ Yam - thanks ... life is beautiful and so worth living for ...
@ Jamie - I so agree with your sentiments - we need intelligent and caring leaders now, not cajoled peoples who aren't able to think for themselves because of their warring factions and leaders ...
@ Joanne - many thanks ... I've learnt a lot in the last couple of decades - not so selfish and yes I'm very curious now ...
It's great to see so many joining us in these WEP posts - cheers Hilary
Thank you. So very much.
Wonderful post, Hils. I especially love 'I learnt that if someone was frustrating me – I needed to rethink.' That's a beautiful philosophy.
It is not easy seeing both sides, sometimes impossible. But if you can - it speaks of your big and loving heart.
Always important to look at all sides of events that are happening. I also think it is important to be kind to others and help them have hope. Thanks for sharing. :)
Your hand metaphor is perfect! Here's to more of your beautiful life.
Moving to a new country, even if it is a voluntary and planned move, has its problems. But being forced to move must be a nightmare. I cannot imagine the pain in losing my old home, having to learn a new language, not having the beloved family nearby (no Zoom back then) and not having a secure job.
My in laws were quite depressed for many years after they moved to Australia but my husband was young and adapted to his new country very well. I am grateful 😀
Wonderful post, Hilary. Moving always has its pros and cons. I'm glad you've tackled your moves with aplomb. It certainly is easier to live in a country that speaks your language. Life is as beautiful as we make it at times. It's good for those of us who have a choice.
Moving far away can be tough. Going with the flow is hard when the flow takes you so far away from what you know.
@ EC - lovely to see you ...
@ Sandra - thanks ... we do need to look at the other side of the story ... and can't be entrenched necessarily with our early thoughts ...
@ Olga - you're right it's not easy seeing both sides ... but one can re think, or wait to react or opine (probably my case!) ... I've learnt 'to walk', or not engage at times ...
@ Jess - thanks - it is important to look at both sides of most stories to ensure we can help all ... and as you say you'll probably be kind to others and most importantly help them have hope ...
@ Lee - yes I was pleased when I came to my hand metaphor - it's made thinking about things easier for me ...
@ Hels - moving countries - so so difficult - the thought of being forced to move horrifies me and having no-one 'to help to guide' and as you say no Zoom. Starting completely from zero ... I can believe your in-laws were depressed, but your husband, their son, eased into his new homeland: I'm sure you're grateful ...
@ Denise - you're so right always pros and cons, similar to life - yet worse if you're in a different country, and more so with another language thrown in. We're fortunate if we have a choice, especially to return to our original homeland ...
@ Liz - I imagine even moving within the States could be challenging ... and leaving home worries many. Our flow of life is not necessarily under our own control ... yet we have to go with that flow ...
Thanks so much to you all - I enjoy reading everyone's WEP stories ... cheers Hilary
There is very little better, Hilary, than experiencing the world, its topography, its diversity and the cultures of its peoples. You have proven this in your own life. Familiarity has the power to dispel bigotry, to cement friendships, to stimulate conversation, to facilitate growth and truly come to the realization that the world is a very small place and that if we can share it with love and respect, in harmony with each other, it's a much better choice than eternally going to war. Be well and continue to be an inspiration to us all. David
A thought-provoking post. I have travelled quite a lot and met some wonderful people. I try to mix in as much as possible with whatever other people do. I so miss not having my own family, I am the last of my line, but thankfully I have Nigel and he has a lovely nephew though sadly he lives in Australia so we only see him on rare occasions.
My country of birth is the UK but I could never live there happily anymore. I grew up in Rhodesia and would love to return if only it still existed. It disappeared and was renamed, it will never be the same again. I struggle with talking French but I love the people and they generally help me along in a conversation. France is now home and I love it, but it will never replace the country I grew up in or my friends that I grew up with.
I wish more people felt this way. I wish everyone did.
Such a lovely post, Hilary.
I never felt I had a home until I landed in Alaska. It changed my life. I was very lucky. It's not the same as a different country, but it brought peace, for a while. I love your post. It's a shame more people don't have the opportunity to experience other cultures. Well told!
Gorgeous shot of the falls. Beautiful words. I love how you let the prompt inspire this post.
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@ Dan - yes I've been lucky to live in three continents of the world and get a glimpse of their cultures, which I've been able to appreciate more as I live on. We learn so much through life's journey. I really appreciate your comment ... I've been fortunate to be able to experience these aspects of others' lives ... and thus have a little understanding how a new life affects families, communities and so on ...
@ Diane - great to see you after your trip down south ... you've probably done more travelling than I've done - but as you say we've probably travelled similar paths ... I have two brothers, but none of us have families of our own.
I'm glad I'm back home here - it's interesting!! - though I had the best time being around in the second half of the 20th century - I just hope the future is brighter for Britain. Though I really wouldn't mind living over in France with a garden et al ... and I definitely realise your love for Rhodesia - I've felt the same for southern Africa, here and in fact the west coast of Canada ...
@ Dan - thank you ... I do wish we could all live happily with each other regardless of a few differences ...
@ Janie - thanks ... good to see you ...
@ Yolanda - how interesting that Alaska totally absorbed you ... I couldn't manage the cold - but that's not looking beyond the weather as you obviously did. I've been lucky to have my life though other things I've missed out on ... but we make our own lives don't we - as I know you've done.
@ JLenni - the Victoria Falls have family connections and memories and especially of my time over there. Thanks I haven't seen the film ... so need to adapt my entry to bring it under the banner/prompt ...
Thanks so much for coming over and letting us have your comments and thoughts - I love the engagement we have with other entrants to the prompt and from commenters on the blog ... cheers Hilary
I get homesick just being at work.
Hi Hilary! I grapple with homesickness as I get older. Maybe because the initial enthusiasm for experimentation has been overpowered by the desire of stability and relatability. A beautiful post.
Such a thought provoking post. Love, respect and aiming for equality is all that matters.
Very well said, Hilary. As always, your post leaves me inspired and filled with positive energy.
Kudos to you, Hils, for grabbing life and living in a different country. That takes a lot of courage.
@ Lon - yes homesickness can occur so easily ... I felt very homesick when I left the UK to spend time travelling ... I stayed away for 14 years - so got over it, and then have those years of experience to draw on ...
@ Sonia - lovely to see you ... you too grapple with homesickness - yes knowing I'm one of the eldest in our family makes me think back to 'easier' times ... it's life isn't it. We need to find that stability and relatability for our latter years ...
@ Kelly - many thanks ... lovely to see you - yes equality or realisation that we all need to live happily with each other ...
@ Damyanti - great to see you ... thank you - re you're leaving feeling inspired and filled with positive energy means a lot to me ...
@ Sandra - yes it was inspiring to get myself organised to leave - anxious making when I was on the way: so many others do it - and probably make more of it - yet I had some really happy times ...
Thanks to you all - life is beautiful and can be for us all, especially with help from everyone ... cheers Hilary
That is very well said, Hilary. This world is getting increasingly polarised, and people are forming opinions based on their perceptions and prejudices rather than on empirical facts. This world needs more love and kindness. Hope they will be able to prevail over hatred.
It is beyond crazy the numbers of refugees, the internally displaced and dispossessed people in the world right now. Your post addresses a huge issue in a moving, intimate way. I always find your takes on the WEP prompts thought provoking, thanks Hilary.
Being able to see how other people are feeling is important, and one that some people neglect these days. When the world looks bleak, we need the people around us more than ever - not just friends and family, but the community, the strangers we live alongside.
I will think of your post every time I hear something on the news that counters this life-affirming philosophy. Thank you for reminding me that our smallest acts of kindness cannot be measured and do make a difference in what increasingly seems a heartless world.
Kindness matters Hilary. Your post was lovely. And I think many of us who love to travel are always happy to return home at some point. <3
What beautiful musings on kindness and seeing the other point of view. I will remember your image of the hand and how there's the palm and the dorsal side. It will serve as a useful reminder to look at things from both sides.
@ Nila - yes you're so right about it 'being beyond crazy' the numbers of people being displaced in this world. It's so difficult moving country for anyone ... things beyond our control can so easily happen ... thanks for your support ...
@ Annalisa - yes don't we so often neglect how others feel ... sometimes it's not easy to empathise, yet we can ease away and not make our feelings known. Community, family and friends will join together and work with strangers as you mention ... we do live happily together without realising it, despite the differences.
@ Beth - many thanks ... I'm glad the both sides of hands make sense ... it's so sad we live in such heartless times. It is the small things in life that make so much difference to our own lives ...
@ Debby - thanks for coming over - when we decide to return to our country of birth we can relax. ... yes yet I think refugees always want to return home - but so many can't and have to start over. Some make that decision to start again ...
@ Kalpana - thank you - I'm pleased 'the hand: palm and dorsal' make sense to you ... we have choices and must think about the other side ...
Great to see you all - I'm so pleased the post resonated - WEP opens many doors ... cheers Hilary
Love the hand as a metaphor to think in new ways <3
My favourite word related to homesickness is the Welsh word hiraeth.
Hi Deniz - oh thanks ... when I thought about the hand thing 15 years ago or so ... I was driving up to see my Ma, but someone was driving really slowly in front of me - but as I'd been having my own hassles re my Ma - I thought look at the other side of things - their side ... so I relaxed back = it's taught me a lesson or two.
That Welsh word 'hiraeth' - in Cornish it's nearly similar - but 'Hirethek' - thanks for taking me to Cornwall!
Glad to see you're still interested in the Welsh language - cheers Hilary
Life is friendly and beautiful! let's live it!
A hug to you.
This is the most lovely post I've read in a long time. It made me tear up. During my 14th-15th year, I went to stay a week with one aunt and uncle, then the other aunt and uncle who had children. While I was visiting, what I felt was beyond homesickness for my mom.
This dark time in our world makes you realize the good meaning in place of familiarity, with people who know you.
Hi Teresa - Thank you so much ... you understand as you remember back to times when you left home ... being at boarding school I experienced homesickness three times or more a year ... so perhaps should have been used to it by then. Leaving the country of my home just added another dimension - I coped ... as I'm still here (or back now!)...
I feel so much for those who've had to leave their country ... so many by exceedingly difficult and dangerous routes ...
Lovely to have your comments - so good to see you - cheers Hilary
A lovely post, Hilary. i like the hand analogy for seeing life from the other side. That ability has given you greater empathy for others and yes, it makes it easier to adjust and adapt. Well done you. I know how you felt about going to boarding school. I did too, but I know now it gave me some resilience.
I lived abroad for several years. Not far away, just across the channel in Northern France, but the culture was so different. Yes, I missed home, but when I returned here I found myself missing France and the life I had there! A thought-provoking piece with a perfect conclusion, Hilary.
Homesickness can be brutal but I loved the way you carried on anyway. If only everybody could see things from a different perspective we might be living in different times. We need to find the beauty and joy in life again.
@ Val - thanks ... it's something we don't talk about much - homesickness - but I found a note when I went off to South Africa about how I was struggling. Equally I was pleased about thinking about the hand analogy aspect ... and yes boarding school - a good dose of having to cope at an early age.
@ Keith - well at least you had the French culture and food and drink! Nostalgia I believe - I'd love to be back in South Africa ... but the memories are good. We are lucky to have been places and experienced others way of life - Life is Beautiful ... thanks!
@ Sally - I had no choice I was 6,000 miles away and going home would have been as bad - no flat, no job etc ... so push on I did ... but gave up moving around the world that I'd intended to do.
As you've said we need to find the beauty and joy in life again - at least we can living in our 'free world'...
Thanks you three - great to see you - cheers Hilary
Ugliness and cruelty are definitely unnecessary. Hope your day is free of both:)
These are inspiring words for sure. I wish it were required readings in schools around here and also for the administrators making new school rules (like banning books.) Living out of one’s country of birth can become difficult. I rarely speak French around here and I miss that, plus living in a red Southern state I miss the openness and diversity, but there are some good people here too. Traveling gives us great opportunities to understand other cultures and appreciate them.
I'm always sad when I miss these posts (Grrr, WordPress!) because your curiosity always inspires me. So here I am--very late. There is so much truth in this post. The older I am, the more I prefer home. Hugs to you.
What a grand photo of Victoria Falls!
Very heartfelt and inspirational words. So very true! If only everyone understood how to be kind, the world would be a much better place.
So true, if you look for kindness and beauty, it's always there. Love the photo.
The more open we are to change and others, the easier life becomes, regardless of circumstances.
Hi Hilary, I am actually doing great now, now that I have returned home!
@ Sandra - sadly ugliness and cruelty go on - I'm glad it's not here. That shot of the Falls is an excellent one isn't it - I needed to have it here.
@ Vagabonde - good to see you ... yes our lives takes us many paths - but we learn as we take our own journey and thankfully have the choice of helping others - as you say ... travelling gives us great opportunities to understand other cultures and appreciate them: lucky us.
@ Jacqui - I'll set up a separate contact list and email you when I post a new post. Yes I prefer home ... despite the challenges ... we must appreciate others ...
@ Jean - lovely to see you ... and yes if only we could all be kind to others - life would be so much richer.
@ Joylene - there is kindness and beauty in all cultures ... lovely to see you too ...
@ Lynda - yes so true and we learn so much and can learn so much.
Thanks to you all for visiting ... I hope to post again shortly - cheers Hilary
Thanks Lon - sorry just rescued you from spam. I'm so pleased to read you're improving and are now at home recovering ... take care - Hilary
A lovely post, Hilary. I echo your wish for compassion and I plead for common sense to prevail. Our recent trip to Texas to visit our daughter and her family, has heightened our anxiety if anything, especially as the recent shooting was only 30 minutes from her front door. Yes, ugliness and cruelty are unnecessary.
I'm probably repeating myself but love the hands analogy.
@ Deborah - great to see you here, as you do FB and I touch sides with you occasionally - not being very thrilled with other social media.
I'm so glad you had that happy time to visit your daughter and her family over in Texas - but as you say ... the mention of guns and America is worrying - I feel for you, but I'm sure all will be well with them.
It must have been an interesting time - eye opening ...
@ Sandra - ne-er mind ... always good to see you - thanks for the visits ...
Cheers to you both ... Hilary
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