Everyone needs a place call home. Even if you’re nomadic you need a base to launch your travels from, and a place to return to when necessary. Home itself may be relocated, but there is a particular place where a room and a bed give a person a sense of belonging.
Today is my last day on the continent of Africa. I am in Cape Town, South Africa which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My hotel room overlooks Turtle Bay; that resort is among this planet’s finest. To be in love with this place is natural. With all this beauty located in Africa, my motherland is even more intriguing to me.
However, down deep inside I know this is not my home and I do not want it to be my home. A home reflects a significant journey, a confident sense of being, a unique taste, an innermost desire and an individual’s perspective on life. Once we find that place we know it. For some of us it means that the city I was born in will be the city that I will die in. And for others, their journeys may take them to distant lands to find their hearts’ desire, but it will be just as much their home as if they never left their birthplaces.
The United Sates of America is my home. It reflects my journey, my history, my desires, my tastes, and with the election of Barak Obama as President, it now reflects my values and my dreams. It is home and I look forward to returning.
The week after the election, I was in London, England. When I was presented to the congregation, I raised both my arms and said, “I am from the United States of America.” I received an ovation. Now, a week after the inauguration when I was introduced to a Zimbabwean congregation, I promptly declared, “I am from the United States of America.” Four thousand Africans gave me a thunderous ovation. My history, my heritage and my journey is now known and appreciated by the world. They may not know me but, because of my home, they know about me.
Since being in South Africa, I have had the opportunity to talk with African whites who have called Africa home for the last three to seven generations. Their life journeys, their history, their heritage and their dreams are all in Africa. They love this place and they are not going anywhere. I understand. I belong to America. They belong to Africa.