My aunt lives in the place her family is from. She lived all over the place when she was younger but, she says, she always felt the pull of home, and now she lives here with her family. I don’t come here often, haven’t been here for a long time. It used to be that we came as a family to visit my grandparents, but they both passed away several years ago, and now we don’t come often.
I make irritable jokes about how it only ever rains here, how the scenery can be so very grim, but in truth I love it. Coming here feels like coming home, and as someone who grew up moving around a different continent, home is more precious and rare to me than I know how to explain.
One side of my family has been here for as long as anyone can remember. We’ve been here hundreds and hundreds of years, possibly since England was invaded by Saxons. The gene pool in this area is, apparently, untouched by and distinct from the rest of the country. And it’s mine, too. Mine, even though I was born half a world away. Mine, because my ancestors call to me, their voices loud and insistent. Mine. Home.
I value my time here so very much. I love the bats that fly overhead when I walk through the twilight. I love the magpies sitting outside the window as I write this, One for sorrow, two for joy. I adore the rolling hills, the woods, the old houses, and the low stone walls. I love the gothic feel of the landscape, the inescapable bleakness. I feel I’ve come home.
This is the place where the earth cradles the bones of my ancestors.