In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Idyllic.”
When I was young, I hated the strongly-bonded rural community of my hometown. Everyone knew everyone. It often happened that when I was walking on the street, I overheard some old women whispering “Who’s that girl?” “Ah, she is the first grandchild of K(my grandfather).” I didn’t need to introduce myself to anyone because they knew me already. They knew why I was scolded by my mother yesterday and what my favorite songs were when I hummed in the bath. At that time, I thought my ideal community was in a big urban city, where people don’t know each other even if they live next door. In such places, I can be free!
Fortunately, my dream came true. I went to an university located in the middle of a big city and moved there. Some of you might think I felt lonely but actually I didn’t. I enjoyed my freedom. It was great. I didn’t feel homesick at all, rather I felt excited because I was released from the strong bond.
Living alone brought me not only a free life but also a responsibility. I quit drinking only soda and started drinking milk because only I can take care of my health. I went to bed earlier than when I was with my parents because I had to wake up by myself on the next morning. I thought I became more mature.
After I married, after I had a child, I kept visiting my parents’ house in my hometown at least a couple of times a year. I still didn’t feel any special nostalgia.
It happened suddenly.
One day, while I was visiting my parents’ house, I was walking with my child on the street. One of the neighbors found us and started to talk. Like we are close relatives. “Wisskko! Long time no see! Since when? I vividly remember about your kindergarten age…Look! Is this your child? He looks very smart!…blah blah blah” All I could was just smiling and trying to remember who the old woman was.
It was my school friend’s mother. She was so kind to us. Then, suddenly, surprisingly, I felt such a relationship wasn’t so bad. Still, I can’t say that’s my ideal but I have to admit that a strongly-bonded rural community has some positive points. It was a surprise to me.
In conclusion, people change.