Coming Home

Arriving in Rishikesh, India, I was greeted with the words: “Welcome Home!” Even though, at the time, I was struck by the words, I didn’t pay it much attention, as I have just arrived in a physical environment that was completely foreign to me. Now, back  home, trying to assimilate my travel experiences, while settling back into the familiar routines of my life, I have time to reflect on those welcoming words that were spoken to me by a volunteer worker at the International Yoga Festival.

As I ponder the definition of home, I realise that it does not only refer to the geographical place where we live permanently, but also to a place of refuge. A place where we feel we belong; where we are safe: physically, mentally and emotionally. And once we find this, we call it home. Home nestles in the cliché “where the heart is”. Over-used perhaps, but holding a truth most of us long for, romanticise about or relate to.

Connecting with old friends and making new ones during the festival brought joy to my heart. Being on my mat in the presence of yogis from around the world emphasised, once more, the truth that we are all one. Beyond the ashram walls I met warm-hearted people, and on daily walks I not only became aware of the peaceful energy of the physical space, but bathed in the delightful realisation that I am home.

Home is where I am at peace. At peace with myself, my surroundings, my destiny. Be it on the banks of the Ganges, in the middle of chaotic traffic, or in silent meditation on my mat.

Does this mean that I now consider India my spiritual home? No. Does it imply that I was in search of home, and instinctively found it again after a long absence? No.

What I realise is that the concept of home, for me, is intertwined with the concept of peace. And peace is what I carry in my heart no matter where I go. It is the constant state of my existence. So, I guess, home for me is where I am right now.

And right now I am once again in the loving embrace of my husband . . .