“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
― L.M. Montgomery,
Considering two places home is a privilege and a burden alike. In German there is a word called “Heimat” which is a word for the home that you come from, the place where you grew up, where your roots are. It is different from the home you have chosen for the current time, the home where you live.
I think roots are important. Knowing them, reflecting about them helps you understand yourself, your values and culture, it helps you realise why you see the world the way you do. Roots ground you, they give you footing. I also believe that branches are important, that widening your horizon, looking beyond is hugely beneficial. I have grown so much by moving to a different country, learning about a different culture and etiquette, history and politics and how it is all connected. It also has helped me to contemplate my own origins with some distance and I am now able to take the best of two worlds – German directness paired with British politeness has been an wonderfully useful tool for all kinds of situations. German inventiveness added to British sense of humour makes life more fun. And German efficiency combined with the British motto of ‘keep calm and drink tea’ makes for a great work ethic.
And yet there is also a sense of being pulled in two directions. Of searching and still not finding balance, to keep in touch with my roots but also to branch out. To be fully in one place and not with one foot here and another there.
But I am learnig. And I enjoy the opportunities of breaks I can take when things get tough or I get stuck in a rut. So the last ten days I spent in Germany were so needed and so soothing for my soul, mind and body. Cuddles with my baby nephew, walks with my mum, runs with my dad, so many interesting and deep conversations, deep belly-laughter, times with friends and so so much green around.
I feel revitalised and excited to be back in my other home. As always it is bittersweet but I am grateful. Two homes is more privilege than burden, after all.