When someone moves away, they leave a space behind them. Like a gaping hole of a plucked tooth. But it will quickly fill up: their old apartment will be occupied with new tenants, their friends will find new friends to do similar things with, or move on to new activities altogether...
Meanwhile in the new country, everyone will need to squeeze elbows to make new room for the new people. In my case, I had to give notice to my tenants to leave so that I can renovate my home (much needed after nearly twenty years of absence), take up a room in my brother's home, and soon I'll be also practically kicking my mom's other tenant in her yurt. It feels rather awkward to create so many shifts and changes in my surrounding and be a burden on everyone - especially since usually I am the one who hoses and helps people in my community.
The challenges of moving back to Israel are many and countless and only after coming here I've learned that actually being an ex-pat coming back "home" is a much more shocking and devastating experience than moving to a new country altogether. That is certainly my experience. There's the mourning of the life lost in the previous country; and the shock of coming to a place I've expected to be familiar, only to discover that really is even stranger than a completely new place. People I thought of as close and familiar don't seem that way anymore. People who weren't here when I built this village (my family is among the founders, pioneers so to speak) don't even know who I am now. The language tastes strange in my mouth, though I find it to be extremely satisfying to express my frustrations in it with slang that I would have never used when I grew up here.
On the bright side: I haven't shed a tear in four days, which is a huge accomplishment; healthcare is much better here (and my daughter is already receiving it for free). The bureaucracy hurdles that seemed unresolvable and were simply maddening to me before the 3-weeks of high-holiday craze (which put any normal life to a halt in this country) surprisingly resolved all on their own while I was doing nothing about it.
On the even brighter side: that haunted house (pictured above) is in the advanced planning stages for renovations, which will commence in less than two weeks. They will include adding a new, separate room for my perfume studio and school. Also the wild trees I've built my house near have grown to be amazingly beautiful and give awesome shade, which is much needed in this climate, and so are the trees I've planted around it twenty years ago. I am really enjoying the process of planning what to plant around it and how to turn the wild habitat around the house into a fragrant botanical garden that I can incorporate in my teaching and perfuming.