Going Home…

Home should be where my heart is and for the most part it is.

America is where my family lives,

Footlights is where Hubs and I dwell,

This, of course, is where my heart is.

Unconsciously and especially when I’m preparing for a trip to London I still tell my friends,

“I’m going home.”

Perhaps in my heart I have two earthly homes.

My friend in London remarked,

“I bet this must feel strange after America…?”  We were walking the empty streets of London just days before everyone officially ‘went back to work.’

I looked at her for a moment before answering,

“No, not at all, it feels like home.”

I say of my children,

“They feel as comfortable in England as they do in America.”

I’m happy that, as dual citizens, we really are equally at home in both cultures.

I can understand how tramping busy London streets,

dodging traffic coming from the opposite way,

waiting for buses outside wrapped up against the weather instead of travelling in the warm interior of a car,

being carried along by masked crowds on the underground,

coming across many charming and hidden sights such as a ruined church in the city centre,

or the peaceful courtyards of The Inner Temple off Fleet street where the barristers of The Royal Courts of Justice keep their chambers,

I can understand how all of this could be quite a culture shock – for a visitor perhaps – it’s nothing short of enchanting for me.

I’m a Londoner and love my City,

Trafalgar with it’s bold and funny sculptures that change every time I visit,

a glimpse of the Eye in the distance behind Nelson’s column.

Museums and art galleries line the perimeter of the square rubbing shoulders with Pret – an iconic sandwich shop –

street-food and sushi bars, pubs.

Construction is underway everywhere, there are high rise buildings that stand out like a…

…well, a Gherkin, the nickname for this skyscraper in London’s primary financial district dwarfing older buildings that were considered progressive in their day!

This odd maze of funnels and pipes is Lloyds of London, the largest insurance and reinsurance market in the world.

I just want to absorb as much of the Englishness as I can while I’m there, let it seep through my skin,

inhabit my bones,

dampen my hair in the morning mist,

assault my ears with the lazy speech of south Londoners,

and stand marvelling as the 72 storey Shard pierces the morning cloud cover.

I want to breathe deeply the smells of wet earth and pavements,

beery pubs and greasy fish and chip shops,

I want to remember the high pitched whine of a police siren,

the screech of a halting bus,

the announcements of TFL (Transport for London) personnel to ‘mind-the-gap’ on the underground.

I want to take in as many castles and Tudor houses as I can,

clench my toes with the sheep grazing vertically in fields bordering motorways,

feel the eerie-ness of trees meeting overhead as I take a short cut through the graveyard on a gloomy afternoon,

flinch while travelling home at night with no street lamps to light the way just headlights streaming through my windshield from a car apparently on the wrong side of the road, only- not!

I want to soak up every pebble-dashed cottage,

white fronted regency house with a sea view,

fishing boat gently bobbing at sunset,

hanging flower basket even in January.

I don’t ever want my roots uprooted.

England is my go to inside my soul when I feel overwhelmed; I hope my children will always find a place to retreat to in their hearts that calms the storms of this modern life.

I want to echo the sentiments of Kate Bush,

Oh England ...

and always say,

“I’m going home” no matter which side of the pond I’m on.

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2022-07-01 19:02:16 Reply

You have such a way with your words and love of being alive and having a family! We all love you totally!

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