Monday, 10 August 2015

That homecoming ache.

I drove to my parents' home recently. On the way there was a blockage on the dual carriageway and the traffic was crawling along. To avoid the queue I flicked my indicator on and took the the slip road down towards Longforgan and travelled home via the country roads which take me through Knapp then on to Liff. These roads are surrounded by green trees and stubble fields. They are so narrow that meeting another car requires that you pull into the verge to create enough room for it to pass.

The thing with living somewhere other than where you grew up is that the place which was once your entire story becomes an ever smaller chapter in your current narrative. Driving along those roads my mind is filled with a moving video of the past. A girl cycling down the winding hill, crouched low over her handlebars, urging her bike faster and enjoying the cold breeze of the wind on her face. A small, brown pony thundering through the stubble fields, the girl grasping her fingers through his mane for stability and revelling in the speed and rush of adrenaline. Easy Sunday hacks with friends, the sun on their faces and the rhythmic ringing of the horses' metal shoes against the tarmac. Snatches of the conversations make their way to the front of my mind.

A quick Google search reveals the etymology of the word nostalgia to be a combination of the Greek words Nostos meaning 'homecoming' and Algos meaning 'pain, ache', which makes it sound a little like homesickness. The difference in the two is that homesickness can be quelled by a trip to a physical place or words spoken with those you miss.

Nostalgia is a different beast entirely, it is not possible to return to memories, at least not as fully as we might wish. I can see all of these scenes playing out in front of me but when my hand reaches out to grasp onto them it smacks against the cold, unbreakable window pane of time. My heart sinks a little and that hungry ache in my stomach grows a little stronger for those moments that I will never be able to reach.


  1. I felt a little teary reading this, Kylie. What beautiful writing. You've summed up that ache of a happy memory perfectly.


    1. Thank you Charlene. What a sweet comment! Sorry for the tears haha!