The last 36 hours has been fun and games with jet lag. Waking up at odd hours, trying to function clearly while really wanting to put my head down, and then finally doing so midway through the day. I write this after a sleepless night. Yesterday afternoon around lunchtime I could not function any longer and decided to put my head down for, I thought, an hour. Four hours alter I woke up. The good of that was that I felt better, fresher. The downside was that I was then feared sleeping this night just gone would be difficult. It was indeed.
Returning though to when I woke up yesterday evening. Apart from the drive from Heathrow Airport, I had not been out of my mother’s apartment since arriving. I needed to get my feet out on British soil. I needed, needed is the correct word here, to get outside and breathe the cold British air, to hear the birds singing, to experience the smell and atmosphere of nature here – that which I grew up with. With The Downs being on my mother’s door step, despite being in a city, I had the perfect environment to do so. Until I step out onto The Downs, I never feel as though I have arrived home. That area was my stomping ground as a kid.
It was late in the day. The sun was not long off setting. I wrapped up and went out.
I don’t know what the expression is. If it exists, great. If not, I shall make up environmental recollection, or environmental association. Walking up onto The Downs, walking into the darkness of late evening, the cold air wakening my senses, the whole experience awakening my memory, my deep-rooted memory, I was transported back to a deep sense of home.
The end of a day. Cold darkness enveloping everything around it. The final bird song of the day, sharp and clear. The trees bare. Mud on the ground from a wet winter and no growth happening. Wrapped up against the cold.
I walked home via the supermarket to pick up a couple of things. The cars taking people home. Shop lights shining out into the night. Warm houses offering a refuge from the cold.
I arrived home invigorated. My nose running from the cold outside. I was grateful to have touched the Earth of my hometown, to have breathed the cold air of winter, to have felt the nature that so resonates with me.
I was home.