Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy Belated New Year

So you probably realized we were traveling over the holidays, what with the total absence of posting. It was hard find time or a place to scribble down my end-of-the-year thoughts, so they'll be spilling out belatedly over the course of this week. Christmas in Indiana, the New Year in Texas. We managed to squeeze a lot more visiting and family time into this trip than previous ones, and it was all-around wonderful. I even teared up when we left.

Being an immigrant, no matter how temporary, is not easy. If you're like me, you develop strong ties to the country you call home, while simultaneously missing the place you came from. And it doesn't take much reflection to realize that you've reached a spot where you don't truly belong anywhere. I've decided to treat this as a good thing. Being contented and yet detached is beneficial when it comes to material possessions, so why shouldn't it be so for our physical homes, cultures and addresses as well? There are things I love about both of my countries, as well as things I despise. But should there come a day when I have the opportunity to put down longer-term roots somewhere, I'm going to miss the place I left. There will be parts of me that no longer "match up" with the culture I'll be living in.

But what really makes a place home is the company that surrounds you, a fact emphasized over and over on our trip:

-a friend who drove five hours (with her child!) to spend the day with me, which is awe-inspiring considering the distance and the hassle...and reminds me of how powerful the bonds of friendship are. Not many family members would be willing to do as much...thank you, sweet friend, for our great day together!

-at our raucous tri-lingual and multi-cultural (Haitian, Mexican, Canadian and American) Christmas celebration at home that spread into the wee hours of the night.

-as we drove around Houston on New Year's Eve, meeting with good friends, assembling puzzles and ooh-ing over Christmas presents with their adorable and inquisitive children, and being generally amazed by how quickly the hours can fly by with the right people.

We are blessed to have so many exciting, wonderful, thoughtful people in our lives, who make us homesick for all the right reasons, and fill us with saudades...

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