Peregrine: A Conversation about Wandering

Peregrine: adj. Foreign, alien, coming from abroad; wandering, traveling, or migrating.

I’m just not sure that today was the best day to tell me, that’s all.

– Sure it was.

But I’m not even home yet! It’s been months since I’ve seen my family. How can I start planning another trip when I haven’t even finished this one?

– You’ll figure it out. Your parents will help, and so will Dr. K—-. Don’t worry about it.

Heh. Right. You know what a worrier I am. – And speaking of worries, how’m I supposed to pay for all this? I have no job, and no one will want to hire me if I’m only gonna be home for, like, what? Two months?

– It’ll work out. Seriously, stop worrying! You’re making too much of this.

I know, I know. Sorry. – I mean, I should be grateful, right? And I am. It’s just. . . yeah.

– I know.

Yeah.

– You’re homesick.

Well . . . I wouldn’t say. . . .

– Greer, you’re homesick.

Well, maybe. I guess.

– There’s nothing wrong with that; don’t be ashamed. You want to spend time with your family. And like you said, it’s been a while since you’ve seen them. It’s completely natural to want to go home.

But—well, shouldn’t I be past that by now?

– . . . What do you mean?

I mean, good grief, I’m twenty-three years old. I’ve lived in a foreign country, traveled to conferences and to visit family, and I’ve even come out here for this internship. In less than a year I’ll graduate college and head off who knows where for grad school. And, theoretically, someday I’ll get married and go start a family somewhere.

– And?

And so I really don’t think I should still be stuck on the idea of being at home. It’s time to move on. I’m too old to be homesick.

– Nonsense.

But seriously. If I’m stressing out so much about a study abroad, how’m I gonna handle moving away for good?

– Well, honestly, I think you already have.

. . .

– . . . Greer?

. . .

– Greer, think about it for a second. When was the last time you really lived at home?

. . . A while ago, I guess.

– Mmhm. And that only lasted a few months. You’re in a transitory period. Moving around’s normal—expected, even. And you’ve handled it well this far. I think you can make it in England for a couple of months. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stop missing home and family.

Hm. Yeah. You’re right.

– But I understand how difficult it is. After all, you’ve got a loyal heart—you grow attachments pretty quickly, and those attachments run deep.

Heheh. Yeah. Like praying to never be transferred on my mission.

– Exactly. And look at how that turned out! You stayed in one spot, and learned the strength of deep commitment. That’ll really come in handy someday. But you learned something else on your mission too. Remember that one day, on the bus heading back to Simferopol?

Which day? There were so many.

– The day you first thought of yourself as a traveler.

Oh yeah! I was thinking about what to write to Mom and Dad in my email for the week, and then all of a sudden I was like, “Whoa. I never would’ve called myself a traveler before. But this week we went to Evpatoriya and Sevastopol, and next week we’ll go to Bogatoe and Alushta. And every week we go places and buy bus tickets and travel and stuff—like pros.”

– Yep. For a missionary who never left one area, you sure traveled a lot.

Yeah. And I’m grateful for that.

– There was something special about it, wasn’t there? Think of the people you met and the skills you acquired. You saw all different shades of humanity—in others and in yourself.

Hm.

– That’s one of the reasons experiences like this are so important.

I suppose.

– It’s true. Greer, do you realize how much you’ve changed because of all the places you’ve been? – And do you realize how many people you’ve changed because of your interactions with them in your travels?

Well, I don’t really know about that second part. But . . . but yeah, I think I’ve changed a lot the past few years. I’ve grown up a lot.

– Mmhm. And you’re not quite through just yet. That’s why you need to go on this study abroad. There are things you need to learn, and if you pay close enough attention, you’ll be able to learn them in England.

Yeah. Yeah, I know.

– And you’ll be able to do some good there too.

I sure hope so!

– Don’t worry—you will.

Hm. – Well, like I said, I really am grateful that everything’s worked out so far. And I guess that it’ll keep unfolding somehow.

– It will.

All right, then.

– . . . So, how are you feeling about it?

Well . . . I guess I feel a bit better.

– Good.

But I still think it might’ve been better to find out once I’d already gotten home.

– Well, you’ll be home in a few hours anyway.

Is the plane landing soon?

– Soon enough.

Good. It’ll be nice to be home.

– For a couple of months.

Right. Only a couple of months.

– Then off again.

Then off again.

– But you’ll remember what it says in the scriptures?

Which part?

– In Psalms. “They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their souls fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.”

Hm. I like that. Thanks.

– And later, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” – No matter where they might wander.

Amen.

– Amen.

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