Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cuckoos in Foreign Nests

When people talk about their home towns, I feel left out. I don't have a home town. I don't even really have a home country. I consider myself American, but I was raised completely overseas, so I have very little cultural connection to the USA. I have an odd accent, one that doesn't quite fit anywhere. I'm a cuckoo in a foreign nest.

In my travels, I've met other cuckoos. Army brats, the children of diplomats or engineers. Well traveled and cosmopolitan, we are adept at fitting into our borrowed nests. Yet we are never quite comfortable in them. There is something in the blood that calls us to the road, so we tend to be travelers. We flit about the globe restlessly, looking for something or some place that will satisfy our needs. Nothing seems to fit.

We raise our children to be independent, and they too are well traveled. Even though we may stick to one spot long enough in a bid to give them a sense of permanency, somehow we always manage to fail. They pick up our restlessness, and as soon as they are of age they wing off to distant places. Now we will meet up with them on separate continents.

Living this life is not restful. The dreams a cuckoo dreams are always of the next horizon, and the nest never satisfies. Yet I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even a home town.

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