The Unquenchable Lure of Home: Why the “Temptation of Origin” Never Fades

   My friend is a “travel expert”. After he has some savings, he likes to travel around the country. Over the years, he has been to foreign countries several times and enjoyed many exotic scenery.
   I asked him: “After traveling to so many places, what do you think is the most beautiful place?” He smiled and said: “The most beautiful thing is the mountain in my hometown!” Seeing my confusion, he began to describe it to me with infinite fascination: “That mountain The mountain is not high or big, but it is beautiful and pleasant. When I was a child, I liked to go up the mountain when the morning mist was misty. The mountain was shrouded in light mist, especially like a mysterious fairyland. As soon as I stepped into the mountain, I felt like I had entered The legendary Heavenly Palace. There are grass, trees, flowers, fruits, birds and beasts on the mountain. Between heaven and earth, everything has animism… I have thought about it. When I am old, I will return to my small village at the foot of the mountain. , live the pastoral life of my childhood. No matter how far a person travels, he still has to return to the starting point.”
   My friend’s words made my heart move warmly. Probably no one can resist the “temptation of origin”. Origin is a warm and poetic word, where too many of our first experiences in life are preserved. The origin is like the place where a bird takes off. A bird spreads its wings and flies high. No matter how high or far it flies, it still has to return to the origin after it has seen all the infinite scenery. Origin is the infancy of everyone’s life, with unforgettable warm memories inside.
   I remember one time, someone in the classmate group asked: “What do you want to eat most when you are hungry?” Everyone found this topic interesting and spoke one after another. “When I’m hungry, I most want to eat the corn and sweet potato porridge I had when I was a kid.” “Every once in a while, I must eat a meal of glutinous rice noodles, which is the kind of dry sweet potato noodles I ate when I was a kid. After eating it, my stomach and heart are filled with excitement. Satisfied.” We middle-aged people have worked hard for half our lives. Many of us have accumulated a certain amount of wealth. We have become rich and have eaten too many delicacies in the world. However, we still cannot resist the “temptation of the origin.” Those rough foods in childhood have become the most delicate thoughts in our hearts.
   I also have a deep-rooted “origin complex.” I remember that for a period of time, my sleep was particularly bad and I often had insomnia all night long. The houses in the city are spacious and the neighborhoods are very livable. Especially in winter, the house is as warm as spring, but I just can’t sleep at night. After my mother learned that I had insomnia, she persuaded me to go back to my hometown and stay for a few days. My room in my hometown still retains its original appearance. When I slept in the old house, I wrapped myself tightly in the quilt and felt extremely warm, secure and at ease, just like when I was a child and threw myself into my mother’s arms. That night, my insomnia was cured, which was really miraculous.
   After traveling through thousands of mountains and rivers, the mountains and rivers in my hometown are still the most beautiful; after tasting delicious food, my mother’s taste is still the most fragrant; when living in a high-rise building, the earthen kang in an old house is still the warmest. Reminds me of the words in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie “Ashes of Time”: “Everyone will go through this stage. When they see a mountain, they want to know what is behind the mountain. I really want to tell him that when you get over there, you will find that there is nothing special. Looking back, you may feel that this side of the mountain is better.” Life is probably such a process. We exile our footsteps and reach one distant place after another, but in the end we return to the starting point.
   Why is the “temptation of origin” so deadly? I think it’s because Origin has one’s most tender memories. Those memories have been integrated into our blood and become a lingering complex. We Chinese all have the concept of “fallen leaves returning to their roots”, and homesickness poems have even become the most important theme of ancient poetry. In fact, what we miss is not just our hometown? Mainly, it is the imprints, those scenery, those stories, and those people you left on our hometown land that we truly miss.
   We have been away for half our lives, and we are still young when we return to where we started.

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