Yawn. Stretch. Mmmmmm. Yes, hello! I'm back!!
My unannounced blogging hiatus has been caused by a few things. First, I was struck down by a nasty tropical illness called dengue fever. Literally struck down - completely out of commission for an entire week, now recovering still, slowly but surely.
Second, I have been visiting the homeland. Canada. Victoria, where my paternal grandmother now lives, and island of my childhood summer escapades, and Calgary, my birthplace and where I lived until I went overseas at the age of 8.
Memory has a taste, bittersweet, strong and smoky, yet soft and infinitely complex like a fine full-bodied wine. We carry it in our own minds, but it flows deeper than that. It is in our blood, the collective memory of our ancestors, the culmination of the roads they travelled weaving the societies that shape us, coursing through our veins. A family photograph, my grandmother, my father, and myself, our heads all tilted at exactly the same angle, our faces reflections of one another. An evening spent with relatives unseen for years, uncovering the similarities that bind us through our blood: "oh, I do that too, oh, yes, that runs in the family". This land has always been my homeland but long not been my home. It is an alternate reality that nearly defined me - who would I have been, had I stayed? Yet some things do stay, like the knowledge of my ancestors - pioneers, prarie settlers, survivors of the long, dark winters. The sound of my own voice lapsing into an accent as familiar as a lullaby yet a surprise as it rolls off my tongue.
I am fortunate to have two living grandmothers, women who were born nearly a century ago. I cannot even fathom the change they have seen in their lifetimes - World wars, the depression, the cold war. The fall of imperialism and the rise of consumerism. The automobile, the airplane, the Internet. I am proud to be related to them, to share their blood, to be their legacy. Someday I hope to be in their place, watching from my favourite chair as the future
generations carry on, smiling gently as the world speeds away, knowing that a part of me lives on.