When I was a young girl and went to camp for months in the summer, I had several long bouts of homesickness. I hungered for home and the familiar so profoundly that I felt inconsolable. I toyed with my food —unable to swallow much—and I cried myself to sleep every night. Later I was told that the counselors were so worried about me they contacted my parents by phone, wondering if they should send me home. My parents said no. They had the good sense to know that in my desperation, I would find my way.
Most of us who have been drawn to the spiritual path are deeply homesick, but in a different way than the childhood variety. I used to long for something that I called “God,” “the Friend,” “Presence,” or “the One.” I yearned for this something in prayer, in meditation, in chanting, in song, in spiritual community. I sought out teachers, even copying them, instead of taking note of where they pointed me. A real teacher will only point us in the right direction, and take no acclaim for themselves.
If only we realized that this true home, this most familiar of familiars, is with us every nano-second. It cannot be lost or moved away from, even if we tried. Even when we feel most alone, desperate, isolated, this that we long for is present. We are made of this, imbued with this, and not possibly separated from this. And all of these descriptions cannot ever express the reality of what is so.
If we peel away our beliefs, thoughts, and misconceptions, layer by layer until nothing is left—and if we are willing—we may be given the gift of unending freefall into not knowing. Nothing to cling to. Nowhere to land. And we discover that we are already home. We have never left home.
© Skye Blaine, 2011