We left Korea last Monday at noon, flew thirteen hours and arrived in Detroit forty minutes earlier than we departed. While I’ve been home a week, only in the last day or so has it seemed like my body, mind and spirit are all in one place.
In Seoul, every outing required two maps, one of the city and one for the subway. The kids were far better at this than me and I was glad to let them lead. The trickiest part of the subway is finding the correct street exit from underground. We walked and walked. We ate and ate. We went to museums and galleries and the Korean version of Holiday World’s Splashin’ Safari. Our most sobering day trip was to the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone. This is the actual line where South and North Korea meet. It is both tense and touristy, much like the gate into between Israel and the West Bank. Lots of binoculars, lots of guns and dynamite boxes above the roads.
I’m glad to be home and so deeply aware that this is my native spot on the planet, where I am from, the way of life I know. I rarely see a soldier on patrol. Electric fences contain cows, not landmines. Our farmers’ markets have no octopus, squid or live sea cucumber. A watermelon cost four dollars instead of twenty.
Sensing it with fresh eyes, ears and nose I realize again that this geography, this language, this food, these people are no less interesting than any other. Our ways are as steeped in history and meaning as any other. Here I am not the tourist but the resident, the citizen, the one for whom most everything is familiar and easily navigated. And I love thinking about the fact that all over the world right now people are just as at home in their respective places. Whatever they are doing, the moment is as familiar to them as drinking coffee in their pajamas while the dog chases a bug around the back porch door.
There are lots of Korea pictures on my facebook page if you want to go and see. I wish you the joy of home today! ~peace and prayers, pastor annette