At this stage in the immigration process – where you feel neither here nor there in mindset – your brain begins to get a little confused. Do I say petrol or gas? If school encompasses all branches of education, how do I differentiate? If crisps are chips and chips are fries, then…what are crisps again? It has been known for my vocabulary gets so jumbled that I accidentally merge two words (or accents) together in an awkward, embarrassing verbal soup (like a linguistic alphabetti spaghetti or something). Oops!
Although my thoughts are often far away, my physical being is very much here in Canada – except when it’s not.
These days, it’s the less obvious things that set me off into a downward spiral of homesickness. Yes, I still do miss friends and the collective memories that I cherish so, but this is something that an individual has no control over. The past is the past; no matter how deep it cuts, things will never be the same again. Globalization has thankfully made an otherwise painful migration easier on the heartstrings -social media is a tool, so wield it well.
No, what I miss now are the little thing; the things that one never really gives a second thought for at the time. Let me elaborate. I watched the new James Bond film, Skyfall a few weeks back and experienced what is best described as an excruciating stab to the heart during a London street scene. The street itself was the cause of the pain: the road signs, the number plates, the layout of the sidewalk – the mundane details of everyday life.
Alone, these details are weak but together, a powerful and vibrant collage is built. The roads signs complement the general ambiance of London as much as the rich mixture of architecture. Vitality is built from the bottom-up.
So when you next find yourself in a moment of peace, look around you. Observe the smallest of details and appreciate them for what they are; a single thread in the tapestry of life. Because one day, the thread may become unravelled and you’ll find yourself undone.