The other morning I had an overwhelming craving for fall.
I was sitting in my Religion & Society class, it was mid-afternoon, I was tired and bored, and I wanted it to be autumn.
It was all there in my mind – the stunning warm colours, contrasted with the cool, crisp morning air; the smell of leaves and pumpkins and hay; the grey skies and brown coats and purple scarves and auburn hair blowing in the wind. The desire was so intense I could taste the breeze and put my hands in my pockets for warmth.
But then the sun was shining outside, and I realised I’m not in Canada anymore, and I sighed.
There is an autumn-type season here in Cape Town. The ivy leaves on the University of Cape Town’s buildings turn red and gold and fall, the air turns colder, and people start dressing in greys and blacks and blues. And there is winter (another thing you should know about Africa). It’s cold and miserable. There’s lots of precipitation (albeit rain). People lose hope. Pretty similar to the Canadian winters I grew up with.
Sure, it freaks me out whenever my brain tries to relate the month to the season. When I think fall, I think Hallowe’en, so the fact that leaves are falling in May is just wrong to me.
And this led me to a juicy moment of self-reflection. [Meanwhile, I’m still in a class I pay to take…]
The four seasons of the Northern Hemisphere aren’t just a way my life can be divided, but an entire way of seeing the world. I lived life in those seasons. They’re the documents, the diary of how I grew up, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite shake that format for organising my experiences.
Then I got to wondering if this means that I’ll never feel comfortable here. Will I never fit into Africa?
But maybe my story is a thread, weaving left and right, and maybe Africa’s story is a blanket of many threads, and maybe her story and mine will interweave and intersect at certain points, but I will never fully be woven into her seams. I will learn from Africa, and possibly she will learn from me, and that will be something.
Perhaps this will never be home for me. But I don’t think Canada will ever be the fullness of home for me either.
Home is where I am the most myself.
I am the most myself when I’m searching for home: behind me, before me, around me.
I am home.