Homecoming

Or, coming home? What does it mean for you? For some, home is not a comfortable safe space to be in, for others it is a place of sanctuary, a respite from the world, a place to share with loved ones, a place of peace.

We prepare for people’s homecoming when they have been away, on a trip, or have been in hospital. Physically we prepare the space, making it as comfortable and as relaxing as possible, wanting to re engage and reaffirm our relationship with the other person.

We say that home is where the heart is, but what if that space we want to call home is inside of us? We don’t have to wait to be welcomed home, we don’t have to return from a trip away, what if we take our home with us wherever we are in the world, wherever we are in life. No one can find our inner space apart from ourselves. Why is it then so difficult to find the inner me? What happened that I have had to externalise the search, how has that search shaped my life and your life? 

We all have an inner child, but are you connected? How do you know,? Is it a feeling or a knowing?  Does my adult self even recognise that when I feel challenged or hurt that it is not my adult self but that of my inner child. 

I have been working on bringing more joy into my life recently, or it is better to say that I was challenged to bring in more joy. I have always kept myself busy, not knowing when to stop or even how to enjoy life. My challenge was to dance – having two very left feet and no sense of rhythm this is not something that I have ever contemplated let alone had the confidence to do in front of other people. It has always made me feel self-conscious, awkward to the point of severe anxiety that anyone should ask this of me, thereby not taking up invitations or attending parties it has been so anxiety making in the past.

I realised only very recently that the last time I danced was when I was 9 years old. I had ballet lessons; I was what you might term a statuesque child. I so loved that class, my Nan made me a dance in a tutu with pink frilly netting, I thought I looked wonderful, and felt like a princess. I overheard my dance teacher laughing with another child about how ridiculous I looked, not the sugar plum fairy but a heffalump, I have never forgotten those words and how I felt, my world disintegrated in an instant. I have never shared what my tears were about with anyone until now. Needless to say I never returned to the class, instead turned into an hysterical, badly behaved person, cruelly saying to my Nan that I hated her homemade outfit. I have never considered dancing again since that time, but never understood why either.

So, I am working now on what gives me joy – and surprisingly it was my inner child who has turned into the most wonderful ballet dancer, so elegant as she turns and pirouettes, graceful in her stature, holding her hands, head and feet perfectly, her hair as neat as you can get it, not a hair out of place in her bun. She is wearing pink – white tights – has a little knitted bolero, and her smile is so wide it makes me smile too. She has finally come home, but also made her homecoming.

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