21 Jul Home Is the Passage of Love
My heart is here in Malibu; more so, my heart emanates from Malibu. My hometown is a part of me. No matter where I’ve been, when I return home I feel this sense of gratitude, nostalgia and love for the world.
Over the years, I’ve come down to the beach when I need to think or simply be. I’ve found solace in the crashing waves, the darkening sky, the distance from the shore.
Times are changing and I’m feeling these things, words I want to say to the people I love, even to strangers, walking on the beach.
But in the moment, I’m afraid of opening the door.
I might substitute a less unexpected thought. One that lowers the stakes, even when we all just want to connect, take off our masks and say something real. The truth is there. It’s beating in our chests, looking for a way out.
This is the oldest I’ve ever been looking out from the Pacific shore. This is the oldest I’ve been back in my hometown.
What’s really changed but the things I’ve done, the parts of the world that I’ve seen and the stories I can recollect.
I recall those experiences as days like this, composed of seconds, moments, feelings — no matter how far we go, we’re home in our body and soul.
The coast of Malibu is as pretty as any place I’ve seen. I stand on the shore marveling at the silhouette of the mountain and the hazy rain cloud drifting in.
The sky is nearly black in the distance, orange beyond the rising mountain; the glassy ocean before me reflects the purple, moody sky above. Car lights glow green and white and red on the single highway that runs through this town.
We’re alive for nothing but today — yet the thief of time comes and takes from the present, looking ahead or behind, focused on the world that’s been or what might be, but not what is, not what we have.
I don’t want to live that way. Even when I want to be where I am, I scramble to grasp the magic that is now, the meaning of looking into a parent or a friend’s eyes knowing that one day soon, things will change again and this experience will have passed.
The hardest thing to do is appreciate where we are on this journey. Yet we’re here, nowhere else. We’re here; perhaps life is a journey to see that.
Nature, no matter where we are, connects us to the present, to ourselves, to something deeper than we can truly know. The sand beneath my feet heals me, but what is it healing? My body? My heart? My human experience?
It tells me that we have all that we need.
The waves drown out the noise and thoughts. There’s a touch of rain in the air. Life is a miracle. Life is precious. Life is good.
The waves are big, clean, and breaking on the shore with ferocity. They glisten in the evening light.
I carry this feeling with me — we’re home, no matter where we go. Our home, our experiences, our character is what we bear, what we develop, embody and convey.
Home is love, and if we share that love with the world, we’ll always return to that place called home.
I think about meeting Ukrainians while traveling over the past few months, what home means to them.
At the hostel I was working at in Lisbon, I became friends with a man around my age named Yarik. We’d make lunch in the small community kitchen and talk about life. He was pretty much a body builder, very into health and fitness.
I told him about life in the United States; he told me about life in Ukraine. But he can’t go back. So he’s traveling now and figuring out where to move next, somewhere in the U.S. or Canada.
I told him I love Montréal and Toronto and he should look into living there. Yarik is a funny dude. He doesn’t drink but can respect it if done in a way that appreciates life — he eats mostly vegetarian. My guy doesn’t have an Instagram.
I enjoyed talking to him in the kitchen. He would meal prep so he’d be in there for a while, filling plastic containers with his veggie pasta which always looked bomb; with fruits such as fresh strawberries which he always shared.
He’d ask about my home, my family, the roles of women and men in the U.S., tough questions to answer and all the more important; he asked about community in the United States.
I believe you can find your place in the States, I told him. Find your community, and make it home. Yarik communicated love, and I have faith he’ll spread it no matter where he goes.
Out of the Ukrainians I met, I got to know Yarik the most. Other times the conversations were brief yet they were always impactful, even when little was shared.
There was often the feeling of not knowing what to say.
I couldn’t bring the thoughts in my head into the world — I I have no idea how to relate to what Ukrainians are facing, and I felt all I should do is treat them as human beings, just as I would anybody else and not harp on the obvious.
Maybe I should have said more, but what do I know about real loss, about real strength, about life? Maybe nothing. Maybe more than I realize.
I wanted to say something, but didn’t know how. All I hoped to be was a friend.
Perhaps all we can do is see others as home in this world. We don’t even have to say it. It’s felt when it’s seen, a respect amongst human beings that says I see you in this world. I feel for you, and I’m here for you.
Home is what connects us. It’s not the place, but the passage of love.