It’s late at night and I really should be sleeping. Tomorrow will be another long and tiring day but I’m aware that I’ve had so many long and tiring days recently that I’m just not getting to the blogs – either to read the wonderful scribblings of my friends in the blog-o-sphere or to write my own garbled ramblings.
So I’m fighting off sleep to get something written down for this much neglected blog of mine. Tomorrow marks an important occasion for my family and I. In a sense, tomorrow we finally make a ‘home’. But just what does that mean?
Six years ago we were busy packing up our home at the time to prepare for leaving the UK and begin living in Bangladesh. All our belongings bar what we carried in our suitcases were stored away in one locked-up room in our house which was otherwise rented out; or in boxes scattered all over the UK stored in the attics and garages of various friends and family members.
Last December we packed up again – this time our home of six years in Bangladesh – and sent our possessions there back to the UK in several plastic barrels. Until last Friday we were pretty much still living out of those barrels in rented accommodation. That all changed on that day when we finally bought a house near to where our children go to school and moved in.
Since then we’ve been busy as a family moving our stuff from Bangladesh into the new house and beginning the process of no longer living out of suitcases and barrels but, instead, to live in a permanent structure we can truly call ‘home’.
‘Home’ – up until now that word has been synonymous with ‘family’. Where the four of us were, that’s where ‘home’ was. While a major element of that will always be true, now we can fix that word to bricks and mortar again. Now we own a home too and the suitcases can finally be packed away.
I said that tomorrow is an important day and it is – for tomorrow all our remaining stuff from the old house (sold a few weeks ago) will arrive and this new home of ours will, once again, be filled with boxes and tables and more things than we can possibly know what to do with! It’ll be fun but it’ll also be hard work.
My family and I came back from Bangladesh knowing that the meaning of life for us had very much shifted over the last six years. I’m no longer materialistic – I could live if everything I owned was lost or destroyed – but I do value things all the same. Things which hold special meanings – an old book, a dusty picture frame, a game from childhood. I know these things are temporal but they also are part of what defines us, what makes us who we are. So when we finally open all those boxes we packed away oh so long ago, it’ll be interesting to see just what was me and what still is me now.
Not that one outranks the other. What I was is still part of the journey to who I am now; so those things, as we unpack them, will still be part of the story even if we’ve moved on from them. They will still be valued old friends and, along with the things which came back with us from Bangladesh, they will still help make this wonderful gift of a house we now own truly into our home.
It will – I’m certain – have been worth the wait.