Re: Pull of the Homeland
Dear fellow American. It has been almost thirty years since I left my homeland and I first went back for a visit after fourteen years from the time of my departure. Years have felt like minutes and the definition of one’s identity is a topic I debated for so long and such depth that I see myself as an expert on the subject without any formal credentials.
The pull of the homeland is the strongest of all and can only be surpassed by the love for one’s children. I lost both and know the depth of each. I still ask myself: “Would I ever recover from the loss of my homeland?” “Can I live happy old days without all the places, smells, tastes, and sounds I experienced as a child?” “Is the imprinting similar to that of the salmon fry pulled back to their native stream by forces that challenge even the most basic survival instincts?” Or will my love for my children keep me in the States for reliving their memories and their childhood? Do we really live through our children? How can our genes be so intricately connected to our love for a place?
In an attempt to answer all these questions and others I decided to start over! From scratch. In a third country, a new language, a new culture… a new life! Will I be forced to go back to my homeland or to my children’s land or survive the ordeal of such an adventure and become a borderless citizen anew? Only time will tell…