Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Homeward Bound

"They'll all be home for Christmas", they said nearly one hundred years ago. we all know how that turned out.
Home is where the heart is.
Travel East and travel West, going home is always best.
"I wish I was Homeward Bound" sang Simon and Garfunkel.
"I'll be home for Christmas" sang Chris Rea
"Make yourselves at home" we say to our friends.
Thinking about intrepid explorers going home, made me reflect on that word "Home". It seems to be unique to the English language. It doesn't just conjure up images of a dwelling, but of a whole life.
I wonder what E:T says in other languages as he points his bony looking finger towards the sky and utters "home", bringing a lump to everyone's throat. We all know what he means.
In Italian he says "casa", which means house, like in German "haus". In French does he say "chez moi" or "à la maison."?
One thing is sure, we all need a home to go to

One of the most moving passages, for me in "The Wind in the Willows" is when Mole feels that he is near his home.
"Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way!"
The Mole is  a bit ashamed of his home, feeling that it is shabby compared to The River bank. The kind-hearted Ratty makes it  a warm and welcome home-coming for him because he realises the importance of "being home".
The Wind in the Willows was inspired by the wonderful River Thames. It is little known in Italy. It might seem a bit of a strange story. I made my Italian relatives sit through a production that involved people dressed up as the animals.They all seemed a bit perplexed, especially by the mole's nose. Then we took them to see "The Wind in the Willows walk-through experience" and made them familiar with the beauty that is the life on the River Thames. the variety of ducks and geese, the little islands, the pretty banks, the locks, the willow trees, walks along the bank and trips on a boat. "Oh now we understand" they said.
I like to think that England and Italy are both home for me.

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