That place we call “home” is forever embedded in our consciousness, and while being the cradle of our learning of the life lessons that are so important to our understanding of the world it also provided some of our earliest memories.
Moreover, with the passage of time many of the sharp edges of pain and disappointment from that time give way to a slightly fuzzy set of images in which we imagine that the world was better then when home was more than just a word, and life was so much simpler than it is now. Along with those warm memories, we often adopt a fierce loyalty to that time and place, and indeed the first stirrings of national identity often stem from those glorious days of yesteryear.
The English poet Rudyard Kipling, (1865-1936) certainly understood and chronicled this phenomenon. He was a poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Residency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, and his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890). In a famous poem written in 1902, entitled “Sussex” he opined in the first verse that:
“God gave all men all earth to love, but since our hearts are small,
ordained for each one spot should prove beloved over all.
That, as He watched Creation’s birth, so we, in godlike mood,
may of our love, create our earth and see that it is good.”
Rudyard Kipling by E.O. Hoppé (1912)
What is your beloved spot?
***This article was written by one of our contributing writers: Malcolm Noden