There are only a few places in the world that give me a feeling of “being home.” Over twenty years as a Navy spouse, our home was just wherever we were. The place where I grew up never gave me that feeling. My mom never even referred to it as home. For her, the place she called home was where she grew up, on the opposite coast from where I did. I used to get them from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Annapolis, Maryland, where my husband and I attended college but didn’t feel it the last time I visited those places. Pretty much all of France gives me that feeling, but it was most striking in Santorini, Greece.
I used to get them from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Annapolis, Maryland, where my husband and I attended college but didn’t feel it the last time I visited those places. Pretty much all of France gives me that feeling, but it was most striking in Santorini, Greece. For me, something about Santorini in the off-season made me feel like I found my soul. I felt expansive, connected with the sea, and like everything around me was comforting.
There is one place that I fear if I go, I may never come back. I resist thinking about it and watching documentaries about it, for fear of how much it may change my life. The first thing I remember wanting to be “when I grow up” was a National Geographic photographer. I had watched a documentary where the photographer was standing on the landing gear of a helicopter, harnessed to the inside, while taking pictures of the land and animals below. That may be the only job, until this one, as a teacher of intuition, that I ever wanted emotionally,and not just pragmatically. That one place is Africa.
The BBC documentary series Africa has been on my Netflix list for awhile now. Last night I watched a full episode in one sitting for the first time. I had watched bits of the series but resisted because I have been afraid of how much it will change me. It is like I have always known there was something waiting for me in Africa. Watching Africa is like confiding in my best friend or my spouse, but even more intimate. It is connecting with my true nature in a magical way – it engages in me, what Martha Beck calls our “four technologies of magic:” To share feels like it would take some of the magic out of it, in a way I cannot fully explain. It certainly leaves me wordless and feeling a deep sense of oneness while imagining what is there for me and wondering how I can bring my relationship with Africa into a tangible form.
Home is a state of being. It is that emotional place we desire. Home is where we can be our unbridled selves. Home is where we feel expansive and connected. Home is within each of us but is even more magical when the external environment matches it. I have always loved where I am, and I reach for that Santorini feeling every day. I am better and holding onto it and creating the magic wherever I am, but I thrive on looking for a higher euphoria, a deeper sense of oneness, a broader sense of expansion. I know that I cannot keep it a secret any longer. I want to visit Africa.