Author: Colleen

As we close another week, I thought I’d share something of personal sentimental value with all of you looking to relocate to London.  Facing an international move is daunting and can consist of very mixed feelings–on the one hand, there’s the thrill of journeying to a new, faraway land and immersing yourself in a new culture (which is likewise in close proximity to other, even more different cultures); yet on the other hand, there’s the heartache of leaving dear family and friends behind.  That last bit is never easy–you’d have to be completely devoid of a soul to not feel the pang in your heart whenever having to say goodbye–so one little ritual that I’ve found to be of tremendous comfort is something my mother told me years ago when I was just child, maybe 8 years old, and feeling desperately sad to be travelling ALL the way to…Wisconsin.  From Illinois.  Maybe a 2-hour drive just over the state border.  For a weekend.  (Needless to say, after one night at my cousin’s she was already picking me up to take me home when I couldn’t stop weeping, so you can only imagine the emotional impact a move to London had on my adult self, who is really not much more evolved from my kid self where love of home is concerned).

Quite simply, she told me that warm, 1980s summer day, “If you’re feeling lonely and missing home, at night just look at the moon and know that I’m looking at it too.”  It may have only gotten me through the one night, but it did get me through at least that, and I’m not kidding when I tell you that there was one (of many) nights just last year when I was crying with home-sickness, until…I happened to look up from the bed and out the window.  And saw the moon.  I just stared at it, hearing my mom’s words in my mind and marveling that the moon looks identical to what it does thousands of miles away, no matter where one is.  Granted, being in such different time zones, my mom couldn’t have been able to see it at that very same moment like when we were separated by a mere couple of hours (and dozen or so Waffle Houses and Cheese Castles…), but it’s still the same moon that she sees, and that makes me feel infinitely closer, like we’re still sitting together on the porch swing in my parents’ backyard looking up at it, agreeing that its craters—-that most say collectively form the shape of a bunny—-really look more like Bing Crosby crooning an old tune.

What you see in it depends on your imagination, but, no matter the image, may the moon always remind you of home.

To close with an old Chinese poem by Li Bai (entitled Jing Ye Si , or Quiet Night Thoughts):

Chuang qian ming yue guang
Yi shi di shang shuang.
Ju tou wang ming yue,
Di tou si gu xiang.

“Before my bed
There is bright-lit moonlight
So that it seems
Like frost on the ground:

Lifting my head
I watch the bright moon
Lowering my head
I dream that I’m home.”Author: Colleen