I barely remember anything before the age of three but a couple of snapshots. I have a clear picture of being on a plane; looking down and seeing the Pennsylvania’s grenery disappear as we ascended. This was the flight we took to what was going to be our new home; Madrid.
My second memory was my grandmother’s surprised and happy early morning greeting, as we showed up at her doorstep. We were home, my first memories started there. Before that, all is a blank.
I spent my youth in Spain and somehow life landed me back in the US. And after many years now, I’m still eager to make that flight back home whenever I have the chance, which is not often enough.
The place we call home, is where your heart is, and I can attest to that. I love the bay area, but I live and long to go back to my first home. Although having lived away for so long you’d think I should by now have made my home here, but that’s not the case. My home is there, where I grew up and almost ruined my life. (Of course, given the chance I could have done that anywhere. Screwing up has nothing to do with geography.)
When I go back to Madrid I feel a bit like a foreigner though, but so is the case here. And that’s the problem with having lived away from your first memories; you feel displaced wherever you go.
Now, whenever I board on a plane headed to Madrid, I remember my first flight home and feel lucky that I have a place I can return to, which I see as my starting point, my reference, my home.
“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. ” -John Ed Pearce