28 June, 2018

Home or not

Notes that two different friends gave us yesterday. Both from people
we didn't know when we came back three years ago.
Where is home? 

That's a good question and one that keeps coming back at people like us.

The best I can say is that we have two homes. We have, now, roots in two places. Different roots, but roots nonetheless.

Consider what I've done this week:

1. I went to the doctor and got asthma medication that will probably last me through the whole of our six months away. Yes, I could get this medication in Australia. But probably it is more expensive there, so I decided to get it here and avoid the hassle of going to the doctor there for that. Our doctor here is about a kilometer from our house and an easy five minute ride. The errand was done in just over an hour, including travel. Our doctor in Australia is more than 20 minutes drive (including an expressway) from where we'll be living.

2. I got a haircut. Again, something I could do in Australia, but I did it here because again it's convenient and what I know. Also cheap (under AU$20). 

Our free "shop".
3. Yesterday we had a see-you-later party. It doubled as a way to get rid of a bunch of food stuffs that we'd not managed to use up. No one who came, came primarily for the giveaways, though, they came to see us. We had 14 adults, 9 kids, and 2 babies come over the course of the afternoon. They all wanted to see us! But most took our food with them too. All of them are expats like us and have been where we are multiple times. There is community in that shared experience.

4. I put roughly 2/5 of my wardrobe into a suitcase this morning. Not all of it.

5. I rode home along our city's rivers this afternoon (after my haircut). Saying goodbye in my heart all the way.

Our corner of Tokyo is particularly beautiful. I ride along our rivers as often as I can
while going about my life. This afternoon I rode here, probably for the last time
for six months. Just gorgeous. Those trees lining the side of the river are Cherry Blossoms
with their summer clothes on.
Considering the above, does it sound like Australia is totally home for us? I don't think so. We definitely have a home here.

But Australia is also home. Consider the things on our to do list (no particular order):

1. Have as many BBQs as possible.
2. See as many good friends as we can reasonably do so.
3. Spend time with family.
4. Spend time at our home church.
5. See a live cricket match.
6. Go to a Sons of Korah concert.
7. Have a hot Christmas.

And even (for me):

  • Eat mangoes.
  • Buy new underwear (yep, haven't managed to integrate into Japan that much yet, sorry for the TMI).

I'm sure there are many others.

Yep, Australia is home to us too. Part of the ever present tension in our lives is that we can never be in both places at the same time. We always have to be absent from one (and all the people who go with that place). So our hearts aren't just full of anticipation at going to Australia, they have corners of sadness at leaving our home here too.
This is where the two rivers that slice through our city (Higashikurume), join together—just down the road from us.
David and I often ride over that bridge on our way home from church.
Two more sleeps and we will farewell this home-corner of Tokyo. One more sleep after that and we will farewell Japan, but just temporarily.

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