Cultures collide or Five minute Friday: Belong


**I’m linking this post from Wednesday up to Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday prompt: Belong. And while it did take more than five minutes, I can’t think of another way to write about belonging than to say this…

I suppress the urge to say “Danke” every day. I suppress my “Ja” and “Nein” and the ingrained instinct to constantly shush people in public. The Swiss are so very quiet. They shush people on the train and at the cinema with alarming regularity. My kids are now the quietest American children you’ve ever met. I can’t complain.

We Americans move and shout and talk louder than I remember. We’re more prone to dropping profanity in heightened conversation with little ears listening, but that might just be my Jersey talking. We talk big and eat big and shop BIG. We consume, and so much of our food/entertainment/cheap goods aren’t worth consuming. The amount of advertising for new products overwhelms me after three years of limited commercial interruptions. So does the cereal aisle.

Despite this, it is good to be here. Here is home, right down to my very bones. This northeastern earth is the dirt I can’t scrub out from underneath my fingernails. It’s sweltering summer days and red-tipped leaves burning like fire throughout autumn. It’s winter white and chartreuse spring, and it is where I feel most free, most me. It’s wrapped itself into the double helix strands of my DNA.

We move into our house next week, and I will set about making it into a home. I will stock the shelves and make the beds and overcook our dinners. I will consume like the good American I am, but I will start with the peaches and cream sunset sky. I will collect the flowers from the garden, and gather the fallen leaves from the ground. I will pluck the stars from the sky. I will make mounds of the earth, filling up on the sweetness of the soil. And the taste of it will linger.


Thanks so much for reading here today. I’d love to know what patch of earth makes you feel as if you belong?


  • I hope you settle in well. Coming back is sometimes harder than going, especially when people don’t always understand what you’re coming from. Hugs xoxo

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Spoken like someone who knows what it’s like to come home:) Thanks, Fiona!

  • Kimberly Amici

    How sweet to feel home. Excited for you!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks, Kimberly:)

  • Cindy O’Brien

    Love your blog, especially the title! Looking forward to meeting you next week at She Speaks!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Looking forward to it, Cindy!

  • Mick

    Beautiful. Sheri and I often long to shush people in public. Escaping the oppressive consumerism and familiar seasons for a while sounds so good too. But your perspective, appreciating home despite shortcomings helps me see it fresh. And that’s a good escape until someday comes. Thank you for that!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks, Mick:) A little perspective on the realities of life in the US keeps my soul healthy. Hoping your someday comes soon!

  • oh … you’ve beautifully taken us to where you are, Kimberly!

  • Lori Harris

    So beautiful, Kimberly. And I understand the coming back as I’ve just come home after many years in another part of the country. It’s very odd and altogether home at the same time. So glad I dropped by!

  • What a beautiful illustration of belonging, Kimberly. Just lovely. Will you be attending Allume in October?

  • Beautiful 🙂 My home makes me feel the same. I have driven these roads, walked in the same door, through all the good and all the bad, even still. It’s my home. It’s where He has placed me and not let me go.

  • Mark Allman

    “This northeastern earth is the dirt I can’t scrub out from underneath my fingernails.” Beautiful words and I know you do not want to be able to scrub that away; nor the other things that reside deeply in your soul.

  • Karrilee Aggett

    So beautiful… just so picturesque and lovely!!! (Glad that you are settling in, friend… praying for a transition and that all of ‘there’ will not fade away!) <3

  • Denise Oldham

    very lovely.

  • When I went back to visit Chile several years ago, I was struck by how guarded Chileans are, and how protective they are of their personal space. Although they are a very community oriented people, when out and about in public their walls go up. I had never noticed this growing up there. On my visit I embarrassed myself many a times smiling and saying hello to complete strangers! Yeah! only people in the States do that. I very quickly learned it would be better to just back off, put my own guard up, and save my friendliness for my friends.

    On a completely random, different subject, you once spoke about one of your favorite books, The Shadow of the Wind. I love, love, love that book! As a matter of fact, after searching for a good book to read this summer and not finishing any of them after hours of frustrating boredom, I decided to re-read it. Fortunately it’s long and it will keep me busy for a while. (I’m sure I missed a lot first time around) Have you read “The Angel’s Game” and “The Prisoner of Heaven”? What did you think? Or do you have any other great recommendation that you think may fit my bill? Another author I love is Kate Morton. Are you familiar with her? Anyway, thought you may be of help. I know you are crazy busy with your move. I’m praying for you this week also because I know you have that conference you are going to (or are at). Best of luck, and God’s blessing on your craft. I’ll be the first in line to buy your book!

    Belong… Perhaps I have to come to terms with the fact that I will always deeply struggle with that one.
    Beautiful post. Thanks.

  • It’s been a long while since I last visited; I love what you’ve done with the place!

    Welcome back! I imagine the adjustment is odd, though I look forward to seeing how you turn those thoughts into readable morsels!