Here's home -- where people don't lock their doors in the daytime and still feel safe. Where the streams flow clearly you can see minnows swimming and chasing baits. Where there are no gates and people still ask permission to walk about anyway. Where neighbours borrow sugar and rice from each other without expecting a return. Where the coffee is always hot and the everyday meal seems tastier than usual. Where everybody knows most basic things about each other and the other's daughters or sons, and still feel the need to protect their secrets. Where everybody else is mostly related somehow or another. Where the grass is greener but youngsters still leave them for the bright lights of the city. Where the heart is.
The journey home ... now there's that private moment alone to do a lot of thinking about the past, the future and the current present. There's something about driving solo into the sunset that makes a person just feels melancholic and a tad too emotional to understand, or sometimes dreamy and distant. Or maybe it's just me... anticipating the outstretched welcoming arms of home.
Now that I have my own little loft in the city away from home, I realised that that journey home is getting less. And now that I have another valid reason to not come home more often, the sunsets just slowly fade from my memories. Spending more time creating and living my own little world away from the precious childhood memories, sometimes I felt like a little black sheep... that prodigal daughter that the father can't seem to grasp or fully understand... that runaway child that the mother tries to restrain but quite powerless to do so. Except I did nothing wrong other than not come home often enough. Or maybe it's just me... feeling like a criminal everytime I see my parents' beautiful ageing worried quiet faces looking back at me.
I don't know how I could handle it if one of my kids do that to me someday ... finding his or her own dreams and hanging on tight, to the point of them slipping slowly from my grip. Which is why sometimes that's reason enough to make that trip back home because who would want the past to haunt the future quite like that?
No city girl this. The heart has always been in the country ... preferring the quiet moonlight night to the colourful smokie bars and loud music, the smooth streamfalls to the traffic jams, the green and dark forests to the skyscrapers, the busybody friendly neighbours to the self-absorb nearby city residents, the thunderstorms midnight for sleeping in to the midnight movies, tempoyak to all the best rib-eyes in the world, and smiling dirty-hands kids from playing in the outfield to their peers who were more IT-savvy and advanced.
Not that I don't always prefer the other ones nor do I dislike them... it's more like a push and pull between circumstances and choices. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, and sometimes we just want to return home to regroup and recover.
This is home, where my roots are, my ancestors and my future descendants. How could I be away so often and not realised how much I miss home?
Or maybe it's just me... wanting to move a step ahead in my life but unsure of a lot of things ... like will that familiar precious home always be there to await me when I do need to come home to rediscover myself? Or will I find a home away from home and never forget the home that ever was?
My father once said on my return to the city, "that is just your second home, but this will always always be your home. Why leave it?" I didn't have the heart to remind him that his willful little girl is now all grown up.
Note: Third week of the new year, and already a first melancholic posting.