Yesterday I felt restless and a little on edge the whole day. When we went for a walk in the park near our home I didn’t want to be noticed or asked where I was from. I just wanted to stroll in peace. When my husband asked me what I wanted for dinner I responded “food from home.”
I just couldn’t shake the odd feelings within. I told Jay, “I feel bizarre.”
As I walked around the park a phrase kept coming to my mind – “the spaces in between.” With every lap around the perimeter these words echoed inside. I suddenly realized why I was restless.
In 2009 I wrote a post about the word liminality. The word means “threshold” or “a transitional point between two spaces, processes or ways of life.” (https://www.highroaders.com/blog/category/virginia-beach/)
That threshold is where I now stand. We leave Bangalore in five days. At first I thought the cravings for food from the U.S. was my readiness to go home. I now believe the restlessness to be a part of liminality, a place between Bangalore and Atlanta, between two places I love.
As soon as I recognized this, emotion flooded me. I looked around and was struck by how much I’m going to miss all of the color and life here. I’ve had those feelings before, but I told myself not to think about what I will miss about India while I’m still in India! After all, that’s not being fully present.
Well, too bad.
The spaces in between contain some of that wistfulness for me, and honoring that aspect of transition seemed to make much more sense than pushing it away.
So here’s what I will miss most from India:
–Visiting the little goats that live in one of the small lanes in our neighborhood
–Chipmunks running in the trees and eating palm nuts outside our apartment
–Children singing songs and drumming in the school behind us
–The sound of the Asian quail from morning until evening, playing like a theme song for our time here
–Vegetarian meals at nearby restaurant Ram Prasad
–Visiting my uncle Narayan for lunch and eating way too much every time
–The cool evening air while riding in an auto-rickshaw
–Buying vegetables from the corner shop
–Seeing a family of four on one small motorcycle
–The ever-present wind over the Nilgiri mountains
–The goat herder from the Jungle Retreat
–Endless honest conversations with my Indian friends
–Home cooked meals of curries, lentils, breads, and flavorful spices
–The little square up the road with the best tea shop in Bangalore
–The call to prayer ringing out through the neighborhood from the mosque
–Having my jaw drop every time I drive down the street due to all the surprising sights
–Walking in the Richmond Town park, watching bats and flying foxes overhead
I could go on and on, as India’s heart is in the little things, the spaces in between. Sometimes when you’re arguing with rickshaw drivers, stepping over heaps of trash in the sidewalk, or coming within an inch of death trying to cross the road, you might forget why you came here.
Then you look up at a little girl waving to you, calling you Auntie, and wishing you a pleasant journey home. Then you remember the soul of India.
I am grateful for every moment I have left, and the best part is that I know I’ll be back.
Until next time!