We have arrived
Our plane landed in Lisbon on a beautiful morning and right away I felt at home. That’s strange to say, seeing as I was born in Canada and I am Canadian, but there is something about being in a country where my parents were born that makes me feel strangely at home and welcomed. I’m not sure that many Portuguese would agree with me.
I think that people like my parents, who have emigrated and planted roots in foreign countries are not viewed as truly Portuguese. In my mother’s case, she has lived more than half of her life outside of Portugal, she no longer holds a Portuguese passport and if you ask her she wouldn’t trade living in Canada for anything. But I feel something magical about being here. There is something romantic about being in the country where most of my ancestors lived. I always wonder what would have been if my parents hadn’t decided to move to Germany and then to Canada in the 60s.
I look around at the beautifully foreign landscape and wonder what would have been if I grew up here. It makes me happy to take in everything around me, to breathe it all in. I enjoy the cool breeze and enjoy listening to the nuances of a language that I grew up speaking with a different lilt.
I look over at my kids curiously staring out the window, my mom chats happily to her sister and I listen closely as my cousin speaks a broken, yet impressive, English to my foreign husband and I smile. Everything is as it should be. We have arrived, and our adventure has just begun.