I was tagged by Shayla to post the 4th photo from my 4th folder. But since I'd done something similar recently, I decided to modify her tag a little. The photo she posted led her to wonder about being home. And I've picked that theme up for this tag.
Home ... where is home?
I've lived almost exactly half my life in Chennai, India and half in four different states in the US. But when I sit down and think about it, the picture of home that comes to mind is a place where I've never lived, and have visited only about 3-4 times.
Kerala - a Southern state in India where my parents were born, and their parents were born ... though I've never really lived there, and only partially understand the language, I feel it is home.
With a large part of its land covered in evergreen forests and hills, and a long and beautiful coastline, there are aesthetic reasons why Kerala can make anyone want to live here. There is lush greenery everywhere, and this is a state that is famous for its backwaters.
Coconut palms grow everywhere ...
... and fruit trees & flowers grow in profusion in the fertile land. Jackfruit is so common that no one will pay money to buy the fruit in the market. I once found this deliciously sweet fruit at a farmers market in Atlanta. I had to leave it behind when I found that a slice the size of a slice of pizza cost $25 !!
Wild pineapples fall over with their weight ...
... ripe cashew fruit hangs from trees all over (sorry about the blurry photo)
and cool coconut water can be had by the roadside.
It is a land of beauty and nature's bounty. But beyond all this ...
It is the place where my parents, grandparents, and their grandparents before them lived their lives. On a recent visit to India, I went with my parents to Kerala, and visited the places where they lived as children. These places are still almost exactly the way they were all those years ago when my grandmother was a young girl, and I could see their stories come alive before me.
The temple tank that my grandmother used to visit daily as a young woman ...
Did she admire these pink lilies too?
The beautiful temple that generations of my family worshipped at ...
Where the sweet perfume of the Nagalinga (cannonball flower) scents the air.
Did my grandmother linger beside the tree too, mesmerized by the perfume ...
There is so much history here, and so many stories of my ancestors that I have heard, that I can almost feel their presence in these places. It is strangely satisfying to walk along roads they walked on and visit the places they visited every day.
So though I have never lived there, Kerala is home to me.
How about you? If you would like to ponder this question too, please feel free to take up the tag, and leave me a comment letting me know. I'd love to come over and read about it.
Have a great week.