Bob Ellis, the Australian essayist (and film producer, broadcaster, speechwriter, novelist – and much more) in an essay, written back in 1998, wrote on the subject: ‘there was a world where you were born…neighbours and fences and corner stores maybe…playgrounds and playmates…a particular bed with a particular ceiling above it and a particular window beside it and a particular view of the yard. And this was your universe. It was what you knew as reality.
And then abruptly, …’
This happens to many of us and most of us don’t remember – or don’t remember that they remember. But it is often a crucial point in our lives, which – and especially if it was a place we loved and a place full of love - must leave some sort of lingering sadness or even heartache in our psyche.
When I moved my two small children away from all they knew, when they were aged just five and three years old, for some time the three-year-old cried for his lost home and his lost friends, but soon happily settled down into his new country life.
Or so it seemed.
That was long ago now.
Even longer ago, when I, aged 11, had to leave a much loved home, I found it upsetting and have to say that, no matter that my life has been blessed in many ways, I still hold that first family home close to my heart and often dream about it and long to be back.
I wrote about it in my memoir:
The day the furniture van came and removed our goods and chattels from the house, I walked through the empty rooms, one at a time. I said goodbye to each room in turn and, when I came to our bedroom, I stepped inside the inbuilt wardrobe and closed the door. Sitting on the floor of the cupboard, I said a goodbye prayer as the tears roll down my cheeks.
I count that day as the end of my childhood. I was eleven.