I left home a long time ago. So long that I don’t even call it home. I never miss it, nowhere I go in the world ever reminds me of it. Just once, long ago, on a bus ride from New York to New England, the colors of the autumn trees suddenly made a stranger pass me a pack of tissues.
And then today, my mom, driving through the suburbs of Riga, Latvia, snowflakes as big as cotton balls, falling on our windshield. Otherwise silence.
It reminded me of the blinding whiteness of a birch forest, bright even on the gloomiest of days. Of a constant feeling of history and grandeur, no matter how dark. Running to the lake through the moist woods in the summer, the smell of mushrooms in the soil. Winters of skiing on snowy roads, as if it was just as normal as riding a bike.
It’s was fleeting nostalgia, instant and immediately stolen by the stranger’s kind intrusion, or my mother’s voice, but felt so strongly for that moment, that the memory of each scene forms a film of tears, blurs my vision, reminds me that in my heart, I have a home.