The Great Homesickness
“You, the great homesickness I could never shake off …”
I have a confession to make. It’s something I don’t talk about much, especially in the company of other Pagans. For a long time, I did not feel at home here … I mean … on this earth. For much of my life, I had this feeling that my real home was elsewhere.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to start talking about aliens. What I’m talking about is a feeling of disconnection, a feeling that my real life was waiting for me somewhere else. I don’t think this feeling is uncommon, though it’s perhaps not so common to talk about it openly.
In fact, I think it’s very common to feel pulled in two directions: toward the here-and-now and toward … somewhere else. There is something in us which calls us to reach for the stars, to strive, to stretch, to go beyond—to, in the words of poet Galway Kinnell, ”come up against the ends of the earth, and climb over.” And there is also something in us which calls us back to earth, to plant our feet, to sink our roots into the ground.
And I suspect this dynamic has shaped a lot of human history.