May 18, 2013

Walking through familiar neighborhoods, going downtown among the glittering skyscraper canyons, riding the incline to the view of my city- perched like a story on her 3 shining rivers, it is mine- my own place.

Every vista, every stone holds a piece of my history, and memory of loved ones and events.  As any expat will know, your adopted town can never be trly yours. Each inch of belonging, every word of a new language, each nuance of a new culture needs to be fought for and claimed.

Whereas, going back to one’s roots without expectations yields all these things as  gifts. The landscape speaks a familiar language that resonates deep inside one’s footsteps-steps taken on one’s own home terrain, where one simply is.  Not the enemy, not the outsider, but a natural part of it all.

The people actually all speak your mother tongue (praised be!!!), you can respond to a joke or a flirt or a tease in a millisecond, you know the language in all its complex layers and twists.

In Holland I’ve rooted in certain ways, of course– after 30 years there! My garden is an ongoing marriage between my vision and energy and the place where it grows. Several horses that I know well provide me with a connection to the animal population, and the cranes, geese, and other birds sing in a language understood by every heart. My home with my husband provides a haven.

But it isn’t my hometown like Pittsburgh is and always will be.

2 Responses to “Hometown”

  1. Your words ring true to this traveler’s ears, Sarah!
    I remember living in Germany in the early 1970s and learning to enjoy it all: customs, language, sights, food, sounds. Ah, but then the return to my native country: priceless!

    • Sarah Says:

      Yes, Annie, priceless. So glad you can stay, and embrace it all with your way of travelling. Thanks for understanding.

      Nothing ever will replace the feeling of walking in spring sunshine here, completely at ease in familiar surroundings. But one good thing about this trip is that I’ve finally been here long enough to start to miss things in my other home!

      If I want belonging, warmth and being appreciated, the US is it. But I also am now more European in how I see things, I like the kind of sober but real way the Dutch approach life and think things through. I also like and appreciate the comparatively efficient transport system. The art is more sophisticated. The society seems more mature, though that does have its stodgy sides! And I miss the nature so close to our house. Getting ready to go home!!

      > New comment on your post “Hometown” > Author : TinCanTraveler (IP: , > > E-mail : annierosengarden@gmail.com > URL : http://tincantraveler.wordpress.com > Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/

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