“When the word ‘Nostalgia’ was coined in the 18th century, it was used to describe a pathology – not so much a sense of lost time, but a severe homesickness.”
I was born into the fifth generation of my father’s family, in a small valley in Idaho. Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, I always felt a sense of wonder at the enormous peaks to the north, and the dry desert to the south. I knew our humble five acres like the back of my hand, and the surrounding farmland was my personal playground.
I never imagined leaving my perfect valley. I never thought I would yearn for the security of the guardian peaks, or the crystal clear rivers. It would have been blasphemy to imagine a winter without snow. I never had to worry about anything in my idyllic childhood.
But unlike Peter Pan, I had to leave my Neverland. I had to grow up.
I can’t help but feel nostalgic when I see the way my daughter looks a the world around her. Though she is still young and has yet to speak a sentence I can comprehend – I imagine what it is like to experience the world once again without the lens of adulthood. Her joyous laughter and unquenchable curiosity transport me back to my own childhood.
And that’s when I begin to feel anxious.
The setting of her childhood is so different from my own. Instead of mountains, we have towering trees. Instead of rivers there is the sea. Will something deep inside her yearn for the place her mother came from, or will she feel complete indifference?
In the grande scheme of things, I know that these thoughts are merely that – thoughts. It doesn’t matter if my daughter prefers mountains to deserts or snow to sand.
The selfish part of me wants her to like everything I do. But the proud mother in me wants her to explore the world around her and decide for herself.
For now I will allow my memories to drift on the horizon, eager for the day I can share them with my daughter.