Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back to my Motherland

Note:This is an excerpt from Home: A Trip Down Memory Lane(2); a sequel to Home.

I spent the first couple days entertaining family members who had come to see me. We mused over the past and they fired a bunch of questions at me “Is the electricity on all the time in America?” asked my niece. “Pretty much” I replied. My elderly uncle was so intrigued that we had nonstop access to running water.

A few days before Christmas, I visited the homes of some of my childhood friends, hoping that I’d at least run into a few who had returned to celebrate the holidays. The ones I really wanted to see were not around. Those that were at home asked if I had brought them presents. One in particular asked me for cigarettes. I grew tired of being harassed for one favor or another and decided to spend the rest of my visit indoors. I was stunned beyond words about all the changes that had taken place! What was I thinking? I should have realized that time (or people for that matter) waits for no man! Suddenly, I felt like I was swimming around in a future that had completely drowned my past. And like a child without his mother, I wanted to return to my home away from home. I longed for my children. I longed for my husband.

As the plane flew higher up into the clouds away from the west coast of Africa, a momentary feeling of sadness and nostalgia overwhelmed me. I wondered if I'd ever see my mother alive again. I wondered if I would ever set foot on my native soil. I wondered if my children would someday want to trace the roots of my family tree back to Nigeria. And somewhere in time between my last teardrop and the majestic view of the sun fading to a thin red line, I had an epiphany...Read full story here

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