Sunday, May 18, 2003

We are told that our early childhood shapes us into the people we are to become.

But when we have become those people, the so-called formative years of early childhood, important as they may have been, seem to fade into vague memories of just a few scenes, played over and over in our minds, until we're not sure if they ever really happened; if they are no more than dreams or fantasies.

What happens if our early childhood has no resemblance in any way to the life we live today? What if everything is now completely different from what our early childhood prepared us for? The sights, the sounds, the smells, even the language we talk, the accepted behavior expected of us by society, by our loved ones? What happens to those hazy early childhood memories then?

Maybe they become so distant as to make them appear to have happened in a previous life, or not at all.

But every so often we hear a word, spoken in a long forgotten dialect; we notice a scent, so unmistakable, so familiar. And then it's gone. And we are filled with such a feeling of yearning, of longing, for another life, another world.

For some, the world in which I spent my early childhood is still home.