A Sense of Belonging

30.9.17

Aunty and I are on the train to London Euston. First Class; a first for me! We have already raided our goody bags and I’ve managed to consume the heavy brioche muffin (or whatever it was).

I have a slightly nervous stomach, or perhaps that’s because I’ve already written my journal on the rocking train, and I’m excited. It’s as if I’m heading home.

I wonder how I feel this way when I’ve never lived in Cornwall and probably never will; I haven’t even visited for sixteen years. Yet here I am, on my way to St Ives, home of the Retallick and Stevens families, and still the home of my great-uncle and great-aunt. It’s in my genes.

Perhaps I’ll feel differently when I’ve arrived. It is an illusion after all, a slightly displaced sense of belonging, with me projecting a romanticised view of the tourist town. Perhaps I won’t find the ‘land of my fathers’, but rather the tiring bustle of commercialism, and will instantly long to return to North Wales, my true home.

I only say this to temper my expectations. Deep down, I long to find the place that meant so much to me as a little girl, knowing that my roots were there and hearing stories about a St Ives that no longer exists. Does this mean anything at all? Will the illusion disappear, as with the weakening ‘magic’ of Christmas?

Ah, go away Rationalism, there’s no place for you – I’m on holiday! Whatever you say, I’m looking forward to my Cornish homecoming.

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