For 19 years I lived in the same house, with the same people (minus siblings who slowly moved away) and with largely similar life rhythms, in similar cultural circles. I then lived a further 5 years in that city, 4 in another city in Australia, after which I left. For 7 years I have mostly been out of Australia every 3-6 months. After turning 23 I went from a travel list of two countries, to a list of 27. The concept of home for me has been transformed from, the same city for 23 years, to a different bed every 8 nights. (2016)
But, during 2016 until now, I have had my own room. (I have shared rooms for 22 years of my life) I lived in a house that I could come home to after travelling. I went to the same church this whole time (last time i did that was before I left my families church at 19) So my sense of home was anchored. In people. In rhythms. In a foreign culture, but a friendly foreign culture.
So as I begin stressing out about withdrawing to Australia for a season, it gave me almost-panic-attacks because I will once again be without home. My parents house is being rebuilt, I will move out of my house in Vilnius, and my other former home is in mass transition as well. Home will be in people yes. People I love and miss. But that space. That ownership of location. Its such a nice thing to have.
Like in jazz. When the bass player or the drummer gets confused or stops completely…. Or jumping out of a high tree… that terror and rush of adrenaline.
After a strange night of puzzles and fun at a farewell event this last week, I sat and journaled for a while. And as I was writing, I heard this line from the album I was listening to… it gave me space to celebrate.
“you rode that dead horse from winter through spring, only to realise that nag got you no where”
I was a little shocked. Because this withdrawal could easily be sin in my mind as a failure. I came and didn’t succeed in fluency, or creating community, or starting some huge thing. And now I have to leave. Like I work hard as “riding this horse” forgetting that it was dead and going no where. But then I felt God remind me of his movements after creating the world.
It was good.
So I started writing a list “things I got from my time in Lithuania so far” The list got really big. The list got really exciting. I’m not one to sit around and get nothing done. I like making things and producing things. And although the last years have been slower than Australia was, and because I still don’t understand the seasonal rhythms of this region. But I have taken away some lovely things from here. And i’m excited to withdraw to Australia for a season, get some vitamin D’s and hold some babies. Although most of the babies are giants now so… maybe I should take them out of beers. 6 year olds like IPAs right?