Monday, 29 December 2014

House and Home

Today I left my childhood home for the last time. We moved there when I was 10 and now, 29 years on, my dad has sold it to downsize. Next time I go to visit him I won't be going home any more.

It's the little things that remind you. I hadn't given it a second thought until last night, when we got back there late and tried to get our sleeping kids up to bed without them waking up. As I ran up and down the stairs in the pitch black it struck me that, even blindfolded, I would be able to sense exactly where I was in that house. I haven't lived there for over 20 years but I knew every inch of it just from sound and touch.

We don't often think about the things that provide us with our identity, values, and feeling of belonging. I hadn't realised until today that that house was a part of what makes me "me". The five of us who moved there in 1986 - my mum, dad, two sisters and me - now live in four different towns. That house is probably the only thing left that all five of us had in common.

I learnt at university that Kenya's Dinka tribe believe that people leave their memories at the place where they've experienced them. I've left a lot of happy memories there today.

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