HENDERSON, Nevada (MindaNews/30 Sept) — September is all but gone. The year is in its last quarter. Maru, my son’s corgi, is eight months old. The temperature is cooler. The TV weather station has proclaimed it’s officially Autumn.
The leaves are turning yellow. Yes, even here in the desert. There may not be snow coming by winter time, but it does, usually, turn to a burning cold in the middle of the season.
In the Philippines, since the ‘ber month has arrived, the Christmas countdown must be starting. Here, coming home from the supermarket, this morning, we saw the paper and plastic Christmas trees being fluffed back to life. Christmas skirts unwrapped and the ubiquitous giant, wooden, nutcracker soldier ready to stand guard until the end of another, hopefully, good year.
We watch the wheel turning faster, it seems, as we feel ourselves slowly admitting to our age, and protesting less to letting go of the youthfulness we once clung to. Our lives paring down to simpler concerns. The closet has more space. Only a confusing volume of memories sucking up a vacuum of homesickness.
A sickness morphing into a sense of homelessness. Last time we were home, we felt the transience of the visit. We think of ourselves now as a visitor. The thought kind of negates the “coming home” assurance of a feeling of belonging. It was no longer a place of refuge, an insurance of acceptance, an affirmation of constancy.
This did not mean we finally could call our American life the “home” we inadvertently chose to belong to. We still have the sense of being the ‘other’, especially in the few times we open ourselves to people we thought had our backs. The judgment in their eyes betraying the deep divide. Like a chasm between two land masses. Unbridgeable for the span and length of it’s distance. That eventually, may just throw our words to the wind when we try to reach out. That giving-up becomes a way out.
The fact that it was our choice does not make it easier, or harder to bear. It just makes it static sometimes. Like the crackle of radio waves between two stations. Trying to find the voice, the place that may lend us a respite from the confusing babble of transient living.
Next year, we pack up again. Box our belongings. We must look for another place to wake up each day and live like we have our lives together. Brew the morning Joe. Kiss our son good bye for the day. Play with the puppy. Cook and clean and do our laundry. Write our column and hope that we live another healthy year.
The longing for home does not belong to Davao anymore. It is, instead, now an amorphous and abstracted sense of un-belonging. A malady of the senses.
But, we also know that these things must untangle themselves in their own time. That the more we hurry to see it through, the longer we usually must suffer the consequences of our own impatience. At sixty years-old, we realize our youthful impatience is still in full throttle.
We do remember to be grateful though. Because we have the time to deconstruct our confusion. And, still live in relative leisure.
Next month will be a year from my Mother’s passing. Forty-two years for Dad. There is an unwelcome realization dawning on us. Or generation is next. (Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Margot Marfori is an author and visual artist from Davao City. She is currently based in Henderson, Nevada.)