You Can’t Go Home

“You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you.” – Heraclitus

My heart is in love with two places and I am frustrated by my human limitations to not be able to live in both at the same time. Nate and I love San Diego and love raising our little family here, but in the same breath my stomach tightens and somewhere deep inside me aches because I want us to also be back in Malawi.

Mostly I want our kids to know what it means that their lives are more than themselves. I want them to hug friends on the playground who speak a different language and be subtly, almost imperceptibly molded into someone better simply because they were there – much like the red clay on their feet that was once a mighty mountain range that slowly over time, simply because they were there, have been transformed.

I want them to undeniably recognize God miracles in their everydayness and be grateful for rain and cold drinks and a well-timed hug. I want that for them and for myself.

But the truth is the place I am missing doesn’t exist anymore because the people who made it special to me don’t all still live there. It is a new place with new people.

In other words; the memory I am romanticizing in my head isn’t the same things as the reality of that history. In other words; you can’t step into the same river twice.

Right now we need to be here in the sandy, conglomerate soil of San Diego -the other one of our favorite places in the world…but with a slight homesickness that reminds me of the great challenge before us; to raise our kids in the above mentioned way here.

I’m not sure how to do that, but I am sure that I’m going to need help.

Today we’re going to start by being thankful for the novelty of ice-pops, summer grapes, and play-wrestling on carpeted bedrooms. And we are going to keep moving forward. Because as Heraclitus put it so many centuries ago – there’s no goin’ back.

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Go Home

  1. I love this post! First of all, because you quoted Heraclitus (and I’m getting a masters in classics, so I have to love that!). Second of all, because I totally understand what you’re feeling.


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