I Want To Go Home
June 4, 2010
I met Nadia in an east coast airport restaurant. She was a charming young woman and because the place was nearly empty, she had time to stop and talk. It seemed that she really wanted to tell someone her story. She looked like any American 20-year-old—blond hair in ponytail, stylish jeans, and a T-shirt. I was waiting on flight 1061 to Dallas, hungry, and ready to get home. But Nadia wanted to talk. She was one of the eight or nine wait staff on duty but the only one with a customer. She had an obvious accent so I inquired, “Where are you from?”
As I suspected, “Russia” came the reply. “Well, what brings you to the U.S.?” I asked to move the conversation along. Nadia then told me about the extreme poverty of her childhood, the cold, and her family’s run-ins with Russia’s ubiquitous organized crime. She explained how wonderful it was to be able to work and pay for her own apartment and clothes and, in general, make her way. As I ate my meal, she went on to tell me that she’s here working by way of a green card. “Are you going to get your U.S. citizenship?” I asked in between mouthfuls. Her shining eyes turned a bit downward, “No, I’m really missing something here. I want to go home.” I asked her what it was that she missed, and she simply replied, “Home.”
How interesting. From our very short conversation it seemed to me that her life in many ways is better than it’s ever been. And yet, she wants to go home. I think we all have a heartfelt desire to return home—at least emotionally and spiritually. That feeling of longing, of wanting to be in touch with a part of us that we know is out there somewhere, gnaws at our soul. Home. What a sweet sounding word, what an incredible tug on our heart. But where is home? We sometimes think it’s geographic, and location can be an important factor in our happiness. But I think our home is more of a spiritual place that we’re being Called to. Callings rain down upon us and ask us to do things, to be a certain kind of person. We can only feel at home when we surrender to this Calling. This is our Sacred Path.
I certainly hope that Nadia finds what she’s looking for when she returns to Russia. And I also hope that you’ll listen to that quiet inner voice that’s beckoning for you to come home, to find your Sacred Path where you can use your gifts and talents to make the world at least a bit better place. I promise that you will find meaning and fulfillment in the process. I wish you safe travels.