Even when I’m as far as only 70 KM, I miss my mother so much.
I dream of my mother every night and I wake up in the middle of the night with pain in my heart. And so, as soon as I see the mountains above Paro valley, getting closer to home, I feel my heart free from worry. I have this feeling of finally being where I belong, of something like, “Oh, I’m finally home.”
I’m sure it is like that even to those who have come to think that home isn’t a happy place to be. What you grew up with gets culturally rooted deep within you—whether you realize it or not. And you will find joy in embracing and accepting them as part of you.
When you have a sense of belonging to the community you grew up in, you have a feeling of security and trust that keeps you in peace. Back in my village, as long as I remember, we never had the habit of locking our door. We would just latch our door and go away to work in the fields. We never had the fear that someone would come and break into our house. But this is totally different in urban areas. When I first came to Thimphu in 1999, I can remember how surprised I was to find that everyone stayed inside the closed door and didn’t speak to people they met on the way. I have become a part of this same community where we don’t even know the next door neighbor but I certainly don’t enjoy it. So I make a point to at least smile at the neighbors when I meet them in the corridor.
I’m now stuck in this so called urban area. I had not been to my village for three years. I was dying to meet my relatives and see that lone standing house where I grew up—waking up to my mother calling me for breakfast every morning. The thought that this house probably was crumbling into ruins was killing me. And then one day, I got an assignment that would take me right there. I never found the journey too long. I wished I didn’t have to hold a night in Bumthang. And as I met my sister and her children playing outside the house, I couldn’t hold my tears. One night wasn’t enough. I promised my childhood friends and my sister that when I came back again, I would come to stay for a long time.
(Trust in Neighbors (Sense of belonging) is one of the indicators in Community Vitality Domain)