Family has always been the one constant in my life, my happy place, the thing that anchors and sustains me over and above anything else. Now in middle age with my own family, I often find myself reminiscing about my childhood and family of origin. I think about the connections between past and present, wondering how the former has influenced the latter.
I remember as a child getting so homesick whenever I had to go away to summer camp. I could never bear the thought of leaving my family behind, even for just a few days. This is probably the reason why I never left the city I grew up in. Or why I have yet to spend even one night away from my daughter. The constant pull of my family, both past and present, seems to be rooted deep within my soul, and is unwavering in its devotion.
Over the years, I have seen various friends and family members move away to chase better career opportunities or life adventures. Occasionally, I have even contemplated this myself.
But then I see my daughter hugging my mum or dad, feel a glow of happiness when I take her to one of my favorite childhood haunts. I think about all the years my brother was ill, in and out of hospitals, and all of the special memories I was able to share with him in the last years of his life.
All of these special moments in my life that I hold so dear would never have been possible if I had been hundreds or thousands of miles away, chasing other life adventures.
My life adventure, it seems, can be lived out a little closer to home.