Mama, I’m coming home

I wonder when I will wake up in a room that makes me feel as though I am inside my home again. I can’t seem to find that place, that feeling or that familiarity. I can rest my bones, but not my heart. My head can fall on to the pillow, but my mind feels uneasy. My heart has not slept a wink in months. My heart is restless and aches before I drift off.

I own the keys; I have placed carpets over the marks on the floor. I have hung pictures on every nail on the wall. I have placed
my possessions around the room where I sleep. But this is not my home I do not feel safe here. I cannot lie in bed and talk about the universe and society. I cannot play my music and get dressed to my favourite songs. I do not have the heart to pull my guitar from its case. The music in my life has faded out; I was still dancing when it did.

I do not like the silence. I do not like the noise. I do not like living next to the open field, or being in a kitchen that is not filled with beautiful smells and laughter. I do not like the ceiling, above me, there, but broken. I do not like that stomping noises from the loft above. I don’t like the passageway, which is empty and cold. I don’t like that I have to live behind chains and locks and wake up each time there is a squeak.

What is home to me? A memory wrapped in gold sunlight, dripping with love. Home was a place I could rest my head and wander my thoughts. Home is shared, lived in and nurtured by my very own soul. It was baking in the afternoon, watching television with loved ones. Home was having a braai every weekend. Home was a summer with the sliding doors wide open. Home was my clean towels hung over every surface. Home was the smell of good food and happiness. It used to feel as though I did not belong anywhere else.

I have no home. I have a place to live, that I am grateful for, but it is not a place in which I feel alive. It has been so long since I have felt at ease or at home that I don’t know if I would recognise the feeling anymore.


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