Janna Barton Carlson | Brevard, NC

Homesick. The first thought that pops in my head is the traditional meaning. When I was young I often stayed over at a good friend’s house. My best friend lived for 35 minutes from my house. This of course seemed like an eternity and for our parents was a logistical commitment. I can vividly remember waking up at night and missing my bed, my parents, the sounds of my house so much that I would cry. I knew I was with my second family and that I was safe, but at that moment I felt physically sick with the need to be home. Now, as home has changed and being in new places is a much more common thing, it is far rarer to truly feel homesick. But it happens. I see the huge snow-capped mountains of Idaho-Wyoming, and I miss my fuzzy tree-covered hills. I find myself needing my people and pets to be in their regular, comfortable places. I miss them so much it hurts but shortly after returning to them I start to feel that redefined homesick from the poem where I long for a place I have yet to find.

Exploring a place with different climates, terrains, and wildlife can excite and rejuvenate the senses. Getting the chance to see the beauty of a place with the friendly faces that fill it will inspire in many different ways. People like the writer of the poem I included are driven to express a passion to travel. Some go further or do this in a different way such as writing books, publishing photographs, or creating artwork. Our movement is forever changing our perceptions of the things around us and how we share those feelings.
Enjoying these changes help us shape and share our perceptions of the world. Now that we have the opportunity to go so many places with relative ease it can seem boring being in the same old place. Like in the poem she wants to see the moon because the street lights make it hard to see it. I am called to that part because of my comfort with darkness and woody places. The beauty of a landscape can be different and unfamiliar. These changes help to recognize that cities make me traditionally homesick much quicker, but even here in our woody paradise I grow homesick for that place I have not yet been.

Paradise is an ideal or idyllic place or state. No matter where you find yourself, make it your paradise. I am homesick for places here at home that I haven’t seen yet. This is me being open to trying new things, meeting new people, and challenging myself in new ways. I am homesick for the things I will learn and the books I will read. Adventures are waiting around the corner, and I need to be brave and value my “homesick” to leave for something new and the gift of being homesick for the home I have day after day. This poem can help us look at the longing to be home in a new way. I long to make the world my home and to know all of the different corners and the people that fill them.

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