Sometimes when you go home, you find that you don’t always feel welcome there. It might be intentional, as with how Shione treats Nonoka in episode three of Sora no Method (Celestial Method). Or it could just be that you’ve moved past it or no longer feel in sync with a place.
So, then, why go home?
That, in fact, is the question Shione asks of Nonoka. Already aggressive toward our protagonist, she takes her bitterness to a further level by slapping Nonoka in this episode as the two, along with Yuzuki and Koharu, team up on an extracurricular “orienteering” activity. Shione has obviously grown resentful over the years at Nonoka for bringing the saucer into their lives and for leaving them. It’s just like a teenager, I think, to forget about the possibility that Nonoka didn’t want to leave, but as a child who was about to lose her mom, had no other choice.
Still, why come home? Nonoka obviously moves back because her dad brings her, but is there a deeper meaning to her return?
One by one, it appears that each of the childhood friends are going to impacted very personally and powerfully by Nonoka. She is affecting their lives, as she once did as a child – and for the better. And though Nonoka is just barely starting to recover her memories, she is already helping her friends, imparting her friendship and love upon them.
I’m reminded of another series where the main character returns home, with little memory of friends from the past. In Kanon, Yuichi left town after a terrible accident, and he, too, starts to slowly recover his memories as he interacts with old friends. And as with Nonoka, he changes their lives for the better, filling a hole, of sorts, that maybe none of those girls (and none of Celestial Method‘s characters) realized they had.
Last week, I had an opportunity to go back to my hometown. As I drove through, I recognized streets, places, images – the nostalgia hit me hard. I also spent time with old friends. I realized how different I’ve become – not because I’ve outgrown people in any way, but because of the work Christ has done in me to really make me into someone very different. I realized that there was reason for me to return to home – to show and tell what God had done in my life.
What about you – what are you bringing home with you?
With the holidays around the corner, it might be a good time to think about how we want to return to our childhood homes – and for what reason we’re meant to return.