I used to think of myself as somewhat of a home bird, preferring the company of my family and friends in the comfort of home.
But recently, I have taken a look at myself, and realised that I couldn’t be anything further from that home bird.
Without consciously connecting with it, I have become a wandering albatross, scanning the globe on far-reaching wings, for months – even years – at a time.
When, for all this time, in my head I was still coming home to roost, the little bird inside me had well and truly flown the nest.
The passage of time slips away from us like a wisp of cloud we cannot hold between our fingers. Summer holidays, or Christmas plans, that seem so far away when they are organised, are suddenly merely a memory of sun-kissed skin or a holly wreath glinting in the candle-light.
Weeks spent away on my trips abroad never seemed like, to me, that they lasted for any great length. Every email I sent home to family and friends always, without fail, started with the words “I can’t believe it’s been two weeks, a month, six weeks [delete as appropriate] since I last wrote”!
Yet the months and years did indeed pass by in a flurry of activity, and the longer I journeyed solo on the other side of the world, the more the feathers stripped from the home bird to make way for the albatross.
Finally in full plumage, I realise that to stop now would be to clip my wings.
Writing this from the the happy, safe environment of my family in England, I appreciate the conflict between the home bird and the albatross. I love to be at “home” – as the old saying goes, it is where the heart is.
But I acknowledge now that I have an independent streak within me that the little home bird of the past could never have imagined. This contrasting core couldn’t be more apparent than at this moment in time. As I share this with you I am on my way to the airport -alone – to begin another adventure.
I can’t help but feel we are all slightly mis-matched; within us all is a juxtaposed tangle of emotions that mean we simultaneously want to hunker down in the warm reassurance of a stable life at home and throw off the security blanket and stand face-to-face with the world.
Will I find a place where home bird me settles down to roost, or will the albatross forever yearn to stretch its wings?
I don’t know.
So for now I will continue to move forward, finding a balance between the home bird who loves to be part of the flock, and the wandering albatross who floats high above the seas.
Are you a home bird or someone who loves to travel? How do you feel when you’re away from home for prolonged periods of time? Share your thoughts with me!
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