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P1010943b

“Do you ever think about home, Ronnie?” Chel asked wistfully.

“Think about home? What are you talking about, Chel? This is home. It’s where we were both born.”

“Yeah, I know, but…”

“And our parents were all born here, too. How can this not be home?”

“I get that… but our grandparents came here as part of the great relocation back in the day, all the way from—.”

“They did, and they chose to come here for a better life, to find work; work that was missing where they lived before; and to build a home they could be proud of. Have you ever heard your grandparents talk about any other home?”

“No, but I’ve heard them saying how much of a wrench it was to leave friends and family behind—”

“Just like the pioneer settlers did when they moved west back in the nineteenth.”

“I don’t think you can compare trundling through Indian country in covered wagons with the journey our grandparents undertook!”

“Maybe not but that’s how these things work. If you can’t make a decent life where you are, you move to where you can make a decent life. That then becomes home. Have your mum or dad ever talked about where their parents came from as home?”

“Not as such, but I can tell.”

“You can tell what?”

“They dream about their ancestral home. They may never articulate it, but the signs are there.”

“Sounds to me more like wishful thinking… or even some kind of projection.”

“Okay then, smarty-pants. If they never think about their native place, why are there no reminders around the house? No photographs, no books about it… and I’m sure they make a point of never mentioning it. Not in my presence, anyway.”

“Wow. You really are stringing this out, aren’t you? To say nothing of clutching at straws.”

“What do you mean?”

“Okay; let me lay it out. Your parents have no photographs of the place their parents chose to leave—”

“Not on display, anyway.”

“And no books about it; no souvenirs of any kind.”

“Again, not on display.”

“And they never talk about it.”

“Not in front of me.”

“And from that, you assume they are pining for the place, yes?”

“Absolutely.”

“Here’s a thing. My great-grandfather was a high priest. My grandmother was brought up in a priestly family which she left to marry my grandfather and, just like her biblical namesake, she was called Ruth, by the way; just like her she accepted and adopted my grandfather’s religion. And yet, bizarrely, there are no sacred texts or icons, and no books or images of whatever theology great grandpa subscribed to. Does that suggest to you that my parents are pining for Ruth’s old religion?”

“That’s different.”

“How? Look around you, Chel. This place is glorious. There’s plenty of work – highly paid high-skilled jobs. Education for the kids is as good as you’ll find anywhere. Food is good and plentiful, the climate is … okay, and the scenery is stunning. Why, in the name of all that’s dear to you, would you even consider pining for the old place?”

“Because, Ronnie, in spite of my best efforts, I can’t manage the local accent. And I just prefer London to Yorkshire – okay?”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 364 published on this site.

 

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