Years ago a wise friend advised me that it is impossible to live in two places at the same time. This has proven to be true, yet for those of us who don’t live in our passport countries there is always a yearning for the other.
Last week I returned to Dar after several weeks in Colorado. The differences between the two worlds are huge. Even the distance is several very long plane trips. Yet some things are missed wherever you are.
Pets are the icing on the cake of life ~ if you’re me, that is. In Colorado, my former dog, Dalton, is now my niece Julie’s dog. He is a golden retriever, and is pretty much going to love the one he’s with. So, his gleeful wiggling whenever I was around might have had very little to do with him being happy to see me. Yet…I’m willing to be deceived. Who can resist such a cutie carrying around his Mr. Bill doll and squeezing it to hear “Oh noooooo”? I can’t.
Back in Dar was the cat left behind. Sami, after giving a twenty minute lecture on cat abandonment issues, was equally wiggly and happy to have me back in Dar. He stuck to my side for several days, making sure that I didn’t forget his presence. All this after having been thoroughly spoiled during my absence. Life is tough for this amazingly well-traveled cat. Not.
Friends are hard to leave and wonderful to see again. In Colorado it was such a joy to see so many of the people who have been a part of my life for years ~ and still are happy to see me. We shared meals, coffee, ice cream, walks, talks, phone calls… So much laughter. So many memories of times spent together, while adding a new memory. I felt richly blessed beyond merit. A treasure of people more valuable than tanzanite. But at the same time, when asked to talk about it, I found myself suddenly deeply missing the wonderful people here in Dar. How they would have loved meeting the Colorado folks and laughing with us. That will most likely have to wait for heaven…
Back in Dar, the welcome was equally warm and sincere. Everyone smiles beautifully, grabs my hand, asks about the news in Amerika, and tells me all the news about Dar. How much it rained, when it shouldn’t be raining. Who traveled where. Who had typhus. Who had malaria. Okay, it wasn’t all good news, but necessary to know. Because we’re friends.
Family, by nature of being a single person, will rarely be in both worlds. They are the ones that are always left behind and leave a void that even good friends just can’t fill. So having extended time with my family over the holidays was a real treat. I have a good family, with people that are enjoyable to be with. We don’t hold grudges or carry bad feelings. We plan trips we don’t take and relive past adventures. We offer a shoulder to cry on or a joke when it’s time to move on. These people, I miss them.
Yet here, again, my friends in Dar step in. They ask about the family, want to see pictures, send presents, and listen to my stories. Best of all, they ask for updates on my brother and sister-in-law and pray fervently for their health. They aren’t family, but they care like family.
It’s good to be home. In both homes.