July 1st - July 4th, 2019
I have finally come to the homeland. If you are wondering what ethnicity I am, I had wondered that too for a large part of my life. It wasn’t until about age twenty-six that I really pieced it all together. There were missing pieces. Parts of the story that have long been lost to some of my family on my father’s side. The funny thing is, the pieces that I did have all along are the ones I did not realize made up an alarming majority of my ethnicity. I am predominantly German; my guess is somewhere around 50% if my math isn’t as rusty as the mechanisms that took years to piece something so obvious together. The other half of me is bits of almost everywhere else. Once I figured this out in my private logic, I finally felt like I had some roots to grasp onto. Something to call home. A home that could never be taken from me.
I had never been to Germany. Had that meant I had never been home? Maybe, but that notion got squashed on this trip. In the physical and spiritual sense. I was determined to go home. Home to the mother land and home to me. I loved everything about it. It felt like my home, the people, the energy there. Something in the air gave me strength. I couldn’t believe that not long ago, within the last century, there had been such strife. Berlin, a city divided with walls amongst powers outside of Germany. How heartbreaking to be in a home that someone else claims is not your home anymore. I know that feeling and yet. To stand and call it home anyway is one of the bravest acts. This is my home. It is the first of many of my homes. But I declare it as my first. Because of that declaration, so it is.
So, now, Germany is my geological home. Where then is my soul’s home? Like my geological home, I seemed to be a gypsy of sorts. Finding home in other people. Home in music and art. But what I failed to really get. Like get as in I got it; is that I am my home. Me. I need no thing. And no one. That may sound harsh and absolutely contradictory to everything I preach about support and the importance of relationships. But when I think about my need for nothing but myself, in my brain everything stops buzzing. A peaceful breeze washes over me and I close my eyes in reverence. I am home. For the first time maybe in my whole life, I am home physically, spiritually, mindfully, and soulfully. Home. Present to the life that I am.
Some people may need to travel to a geological home to connect to their soul home and others vice versa. I believe I am fortunate to be capable of both. What has truly brought me power, though, is to know home can be found about anywhere: in a song heard from off in the distance, on a park bench, in a friend, but most prominently, in myself. I feel at home regardless of emotion. I am at home when waves of grief are attempting to take me out, I am at home when I am floored by the glory of nature. All of my emotions are home.
My journey through other countries has had me realize how it takes but only a moment for the unfamiliar to become familiar. All it takes is to step outside of our comfort zones. Take a second to think about that. It is possible to find home outside of our comfort zones. That is how all homes start off anyway if we really get down to the technicality of it all. When we are born, we come home for the very first time. The excitement of that day amongst the people around us is unmeasurable. I get to experience that excitement with each time I pack my bag. Yes, sometimes I feel like I am going to throw up, but that’s what excited particles do! They move and shake. I open myself up to that possibility of finding another home every time I get on the plane, train, taxi, or boat. I have been delightfully surprised how often it has been fulfilled thus far. I used to be a critic of the overall notion that what we think creates our world. That was an old me of around a decade ago and I no longer know that person, but I can remember how powerless it felt to be that person. Perspective really is everything when it is thought of like this: one person may be turned off by broccoli for example, and a person of the same age, and all similar genetic classifications may think broccoli is amazing. Same goes with preference in color of t-shirt or to get deeper, their philosophy on methods to connect to roots. I have found travel to be one of those methods. And when I look at how I created the possibility to see the beauty in everywhere I go, it just happened. Even amongst the feelings of mourning for those who had been lost not long ago during World War II, as well as mourning for the living who have to carry that loss, I have found home.
This is Berlin. This is my home.