Hometown – Home – Hjem
What does it mean?
There is that trite saying – “Home is where the heart is,” but that saying means little to me. My current hometown is a relatively new one, at the Home by the Sea.
Whilst my blogger colleague, Sandy has lived in many different places in many countries, I have lived in just four cities my entire life, and all four in the same country, Australia. Three in the same state. Yet it is a different country on the other side of the globe to me, that captures what most would recognize as a feeling of home. Home: that warm fuzzy feeling of sanctuary one gets when they hear that word.
I never felt that feeling in any of my previous hometowns and don’t like to dwell too much on them, much less write about them. But there is one place that I felt completely relaxed and ‘hyggelig,’ and that was the time I spent in Denmark. Danes have such a knack for creating a comforting, cosy atmosphere in their homes that they invented a unique word to describe it. Hygge.
Growing up in Australia, I actually knew very little of Denmark and even less about the town my family came from. I had seen a photograph and read a book in 1995, but that was pretty much all. The pictures in that book were a revelation and they entranced me. From that moment, I was on a mission to figure out how I could visit that magical place and my family’s hometown.
Arriving in Denmark
I longed to visit Denmark and I’d waited and saved for years. Despite this, it seemed both corny and surprising that when that SAS aeroplane, I was seated in, touched down on the tarmac of that longed-for country, I had a strong sense of relief wash over me, a sense of coming home. Could I put that down to wishful thinking and finally reaching my goal? If so, why was I so utterly surprised at the extent of this overwhelming feeling I couldn’t get out of my head? Being there at that moment, just felt right.
DNA Memory and Research
Some think there is more to DNA memory. That you can remember certain things through the generations and heredity.
Animals such as mice, have been able to pass on useful environmental information learnt during their lives to their offspring two generations hence, even though it was not in their original DNA. This appears to occur after a traumatic event.
Scientists have conducted studies with roundworms that indicate they can ‘remember’ information for up to 14 generations.
Don’t you think that is fascinating?
That a Grandparent or ancestor might learn a vital piece of information in their early life and you, as a grandchild or descendant might express, feel, exhibit or react to, a certain stimulus in the same way as that Grandparent might have done?
This may be what happened when I visited Denmark. Whether it was DNA, or the expression of a gene with a particular leaning towards certain environmental factors, or something else. I can’t say.
Do you have a longing to a certain place? Is it your home or is it another place in the world?
Join the Conversation with Sandy and Amanda on your hometown.