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Day 70

"Even the European of today still preserves an obscure sense of mystical solidarity with his native soil. It is the religious experience of autochthony; the feeling is that of belonging to a place, and it is a cosmically structured feeling that goes far beyond family or ancestral solidarity." -Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and Profane

Belonging to a place.

I moved almost every year of my childhood and youth, so I'm not sure what this "belonging" would feel like. The weather in Utah has been awful- thick with smog, freezing cold. So I put Sophie down for a nap and begin googling "the most beautiful European cities." Prague, Porto, Budapest. It would help to speak the language though, so I narrow it down to somewhere in Spain or Italy, since I speak Spanish fluently and can learn Italian quickly.

As I research, I think, how strange to try to choose a home. Every place has its pros and its cons, but a home you love simply for its...familiarity, perhaps? Or is it something deeper? Does one learn to sense the curves of a place, its subtle seasonal changes, the quality of light? Does one dream of that quality of light when they travel far away? I'm not sure if this is something you can learn into your flesh so late in life. Maybe choosing a country in your late twenties is like learning a new language in midlife; the words will taste foreign all your life.

I know that Utah is not home. I know this in some deep part of me, and luckily, Georg agrees. Like all places, I love certain things (the nature is breathtaking, the people are kind and friendly) and hate others (the pollution trapped in the valley, the horrible winters, the bland culture). But that other thing, the warmth of belonging, is entirely missing.

But google reveals nothing to me. I will keep wandering, I think. I will keep wandering, and some day, like a long-lost love, some country or some place will speak to me.

Are most of us wanderers these days? Will earth ever be enough for us?


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