Today, more than most days, I miss home. Yes, I'm currently staying in the house that I grew up in, sitting in the kitchen that we ate family dinner in every night. This is the house that I cleaned to earn my allowance, with the porch that I shoveled every time it snowed. There are the stairs that I fell down of too many times and the wrinkle in the carpet I always tripped over. There's the marking on the door frame where I measured myself 4 foot 7. Every dent, crack and corner holds precious memories, some that I don't even posses anymore. But as I sit in this old empty house, thinking about all the forgotten memories of when I called this home, I feel big, clumsily out of place. This isn't home.
Home is a half constructed cement house, over crowded and nestled in the midst of a little village called Nakazadee, surrounded by sugar cane fields. It has bars on the windows, but not barbed wire on the top of the fence, 5 buckets in the back courtyard, and an eclectic assortment of clothing dangling from a spider-web of twine. Each room is filled with bunk-beds and suitcases and dirty feet. Much less glamorous than American living, this is the home that my heart longs for.
But home is not really a place, its not about a physical place. Home can't be defined by a structure, by memories, by a group of people. Home is defined by you. Home is where you feel the most alive. It is the place where you become you, a place that allows you to be you. It is the epitome of love and peace. It is a instance of personal discovery, acceptance and growth. It is when you find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time. Home is living, working, growing, loving, sharing, thinking, dreaming, understanding, learning, giving, being and not wanting to be anywhere else.
So today I miss home: me, the muzungus, Nakazadee, Lugazi, Uganda, Africa.