In two years I moved three continents and while my body travelled my brain refused to adjust. It dove deeper and deeper within itself until all it could do was run in circles in the small space of my cranium. Suddenly, home did not exist but houses came and went: my grandparent’s bungalow where flowers grew between cracks in the wall, a rented apartment in a sleepy canton, another where voices filled with glee could be heard till dawn arrived with rosy fingers, and a three story where the couch became soft from use and the engines of overhead aero planes kept us awake, until it was time to go and now I find myself in a dorm room where the walls are so thin that I hear Hozier, sometimes, in the mornings.
And I sit here and wonder how could I possibly be here right now, when my brain keeps replaying scenes of sitting in wide verandahs with biscuits and chai. That is a home, and another is running uphill towards the gare because if you miss this one, the next is an hour away and your friends are already there with a basket full of bread, so you can sit by the lake and talk about mortality. Somehow, even this place has become a home when you begin to miss laughing so loud you get complaints and waking up to snowstorms and deciding then to go back to the warm embrace of your bed.
I think now my brain is catching up to my body and those pangs of confused homesickness that rendered me non-functioning have been replaced by an urge, an urge to be here and present and fully alive. Somehow this urge also encompasses wandering, here and everywhere, and the need to keep going onwards and upwards to the next place and the next. Life isn’t meant for you to be stationery both brain and body and soul and everything in between because home isn’t a place anymore. It’s yourself.
Sana Mohsin is a Pakistani-Canadian writer who likes tea, the sea, and Sylvia Plath, immensely.