Between week bajillion of the state of the world, my birthday, and the calendar even popping up of flying to Portland this week that won’t happen the ache has returned for this week. It is an ache that all people living away from home are familiar with. It is an ache that is pretty consistently just under the surface and becomes even more apparent when something big happens. It is the ache that calls out in familiar sights, sounds, smells and memories. It becomes a bigger ache when you are told you can’t return to the place you desperately would like to go. It is that ache of homesickness.
This ache for me has lessened in my second year in Berlin. We are approaching the second anniversary of me moving to this city for a little while. I thought I would have moved back by now and that was the original plan. I do not regret deciding to stay for another year and I can’t imagine planning a move back during a world wide pandemic. There are good reasons for us to be here for another year but it all makes me acutely aware of what I am missing.
I was supposed to fly home for a few weeks to my family in Oregon tomorrow and now I am not sure when I will be able to return. I keep saying to myself, “at least Christmas will probably be ok to fly back” but there are so many unknowns. It is hard to live countries away from family during this time, both Ana and I feel that almost every day. We have surpassed the time we were supposed to be in Serbia but we feel that deeply as well. We are missing our people and seeing them on Zoom is the best part of my week and yet makes my heart ache for them even more.
The ache has become a familiar companion in my life and the ache ebbs and flows with the days and the seasons. We deal with the ache by doing things in our time that feed our souls and we connect with our people when we can, we make familiar food and tell stories and cuddle with our pups. Most importantly, the thing I do that helps the most is acknowledging my deep homesickness when I feel it the most, and then I move into the next moment.