I found myself feeling the first real sting of homesickness tonight. After 8 hours of class today I was exhausted and laid down for a nap, a rarity for a non-nap taker like me. I woke up to the familiar sounds of rain falling on the roofs and the street outside the window. Feeling a bit more refreshed, I sat up and scrolled through my iPhone wondering what the rest of the world was up to. It was 5:30pm in Thailand, which meant everyone I knew back in the states was still in dreamland, 12-15 hours behind.
As an Oregonian, I have fond memories of the rain. There’s a nostalgia I feel every time I’m in the rain, no matter where I am in the world. It seems to awaken the happy childhood memory bank. Tonight in Chiang Mai felt different as I sat in bed listening to the raindrops. The feeling wasn’t a homesick sadness that could bring me to tears. Rather I felt myself rewinding back to all the people I’ve shared rain showers with, wishing they could share this one with me. A type of loneliness stung in my heart.
I scrolled through photos of my family: brothers, parents, niece and nephew, sisters-in-law. I wondered how they were spending their time, wished I could hear their familiar voices, and feel their warm embraces. I reminisced of my mom making hot apple cider on the stove for my brothers and I after rainy high school soccer and football games. Of cozying up after the cold, wet day in blankets and pajamas. Of smelling the unmistakeable scent of fresh pine and must, mixed with the crisp, fresh Oregon air. Of laying in my childhood bed listening to the natural musical notes each drop made as it touched the Earth. Fellow Oregonians can agree there’s something magical about that Oregon rain.
No matter where I am, though, a rain drop will always stop me in my tracks. I have an intrinsic need to take a moment to acknowledge the beauty of the rain. Even when it’s pouring rain and I’m drenched in the Bangkok streets like I was two weeks ago, I’ll be smiling. The rest of the world will rush for cover, and I’ll stand and soak it in… quite literally. The sounds, the smells, the sensation on my skin, and the way it makes the whole world ever so slightly slow down.
The homesick pangs have subsided a bit after writing this post. I am grateful to have people I miss and a beautiful home to go back to one day. For now, I’m embracing the Thai rain.
With rainy love from Thailand,