Yesterday, my dear friend Kathleen Peterson (we’ve known one another since we were three) and I drove past my childhood home and elementary school in San Jose, California. As my parents no longer live there, and I haven’t spent much time in the area for two decades, one could quip that I no longer know the way to San Jose. It is true that many of the landmarks I remember have vanished, the map in my mind a ghost of a map. And yet, everything was comfortably familiar.
In recent years, I’ve been surprised that images of rolling California hills have evoked longing. My heart, after all, has been happily housed on the East Coast since graduation from college. Perhaps, however, because I was reared in San Jose, there is a location-based imprinting that can’t be undone. This would explain why nowhere in the world has the same gravitational pull as San Jose. Two possible exceptions are the Gila Valley in southeastern Arizona, where I have both ancestral and religious roots, and Madrid, where I was born.
Until yesterday, I thought of belonging solely within the context of finding our place within a community of people, not a physical location. I new know and feel differently: my hometown and yours is a place that belongs to us, and we to it.
Feeling more grounded than usual.
Where is your hometown?
How can re-connecting with our hometown, or ancestral homes, point us toward our dreams? And/or buoy us in the pursuit of our dreams?