Do you ever feel grounded?
Not in a ‘safe, solid, I know where I am’ sort of way, but a ‘restless, wings clipped, I should be somewhere else’ sort of way… I’ve found a good word to describe that feeling – ‘fernweh’. It’s a German word that translates to ‘wanderlust’ and it encompasses that emotion very nicely. I stumbled upon that word a few months ago now and was immediately inspired to write the poem I’m about to share with you.
It feels appropriate to share it with you today, as I prepare to leave home and head back to the west coast of the States in a few short days. Due to circumstances out of my control, I’m leaving later than originally planned, so the emotion of this poem feels especially relevant right now – that deep desire to go, the longing to travel, the anticipation of wandering and movement yet again.
In short, tonight I feel that thrill of ‘fernweh’ – and my hope is that this poem will spark a gleam of it in you too…
You call it “fernweh”
over the remnants of Belgian waffles.
My forehead crinkles in question.
“Distance ache,” you explain,
“in English, wanderlust.
A longing to just go.”
The word is soft in my mouth
like the pine-tree chai we sip in your living room,
steam drifting out the open window.
I watch it melt into the September sky and feel my heart
beat restless, weary of the same.
I see my fernweh mirrored in your eyes
and fingers tracing tracks on the dusty coffee table.
I want to say more,
tell you how right you are.
Instead, I nod
“How soon can you buy a plane ticket?”
Are you familiar with the term ‘fernweh’? Have you felt that emotion recently? Let me know in the comments 🙂