Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Little Reminder of Home...

Two of my favorite things to do together are read a good book while crunching on a crisp apple. Today I was settling into our comfie chair with both the book and the apple. (Alas, there are no Mcintosh Apples here in the Holy Land...) As I was munching I noticed something strange, something I had not yet seen on an Israeli apple: those little stickers with the number and name of the apple. (In the states I would peel the sticker off the apple and stick it on the cover of the book. Sometimes I returned the book to the library with 5 or 6 stickers on it). I hated those stickers in the states, but I was delighted to find one today. As I peeled this sticker off the apple, I thought of Home.

I struggle with the word "home". Israel is my home now, and I have dreamed of it being my home for a long time. It is my "homeland", the place where it all began for us. And I believe in the return to this homeland of ours so much. I believe in it with all my heart.

But the word "home"....A few weeks ago I was talking to an old friend with whom I am getting reacquainted. She made aliyah about 20 years ago. She said, in casual conversation, "Sometimes, when I go home, I...."

I stopped her. "Wait a minute. You still think of America as home?" I was incredulous.

"Of course", she said. "It's where I grew up. It's where my parents and siblings are".

I was amazed. Until then, I made a conscious effort not to say the word "home" when I referred to America. I live here now, this is my home. But it takes a long time to make a place feel like home. To find your place in a town and become part of a community. The truth is America is in my blood. How could it not be? It is old and familiar to me, while Israel is strange and exciting.

I have two homes now, I think. I love them both, for different reasons. I yearn for them both, for different reasons.

And I guess that's okay.

10 comments:

SuperRaizy said...

I understand what your friend means. I think that no matter how old you get, you always think of the place where your parents are as "home".

Anonymous said...

as a friend from your old home, i will continue to miss you.

Batya said...

"home?"
I have one, and it's here in Shiloh. New York is "where my parents live" and "where I grew up," but for almost 38 years New York isn't my "home."

Words have power; take care.

Baila said...

Batya,

that is exactly what I am struggling with now, after six months of living here. We'll see how things evolve with time, eh?

bec said...

i found a sticker on my apple yesterday and did a complete double take. it was very odd (for here) and yet comforting and familiar.
i still think of ny as home, but in spite of the insanity, israel is becoming the place that i am beginning to not be able to imagine ever leaving...!

Baila said...

Bec, you made my day!

Veev said...

When I was 20, I moved away from "home" in NJ to Detroit. Whenever a friend would ask if I was going "home" for whatever Holiday was coming up, I would always say, "I AM home."

Now that we have made Aliyah, and we have kids, I have sometimes refered to whatever happened in Detroit as "at home." When my father-in-law asked me on the phone last year when I'm coming home, I said, "Anytime you want, Daddy!" He was silent for a minute and then said, "No, you're supposed to say, 'I am home!'"

I told him he better call one of his kids who has been here longer, then. :) It takes time.

I don't refer to Detroit as "home" as much anymore. I think this place is growing on me.

AND HOW COME THERE AREN'T ANY MACS HERE???

Baila said...

Veev,

I do think it takes time to think of a place as "home". I also think you can love two places for different reasons.

I don't know why there aren't any Macs here. They have Empires, direct from Washington State. Maybe its because the MacIntosh is truly a delicate, special species of Apple, inddeed it is the pinnacle of apple (don't you think?)...but if they can put a man on the moon, you'd think they could a Mac in Mega....

Abbi said...

Mcintosh apples are sold as "yonatan" apples in most supermarkets.

Baila said...

Abbi,

the Yonatans are similar, but not exactly the same....I've tried them.