DAH: Just Visiting

We lived in Santa Monica, Mum and Dad and me, when we first came to California. I cried, says Mum, whenever we took a car trip away from town. I wasn’t happy away from people and their places.

I come from a place I’ve never lived. My parents immigrated to California when I was scarcely a year old. They never became U.S. citizens. I was an English citizen until I was nearly 40. So, I’ve spent most of my life in California, labeled with a specific legal status: “Resident Alien.” Being from somewhere else, somewhere not here, is a big part of what made me me … just visiting, a permanent alien.

Since I’m just visiting, time and place are magical concepts:

"Time" is the fire in which we all burn. That gives us all an essential commonality: We’re all just visiting, all just fuel for the fire of human time.

"Place" is a wondrous, complex interplay between nature and people, inextricably entangled with each other, simmering over time's fire.

When I think of home it seems for me a journey … from a mythical England where I never lived – an England of kings and queens, of Robin Hood and Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes, of rolling green hills and ancient, magical woods – to California’s Coast, on the edge of the Pacific, where peace should reign eternal but seldom does, at the ring of fire's rim.

I don’t have children of my own. Nor do my two brothers. My family’s visit here is soon ended. We burn away in the fire of time and leave behind only the residue of how we acted in this place, how we spent our brief flame of life, with nature here, and people here, all of us, all of you, just visiting.

DAH is me. David Anthony Hance. dah@pacific.net