Customarily when I am unable to sleep I just toss and turn in bed, likely adding to the aggravation of my neuropathy and my stiff broken ribs which still haven’t fully healed from my bicycle fall on Ponce Inlet, Florida almost exactly three years ago to the day. Early this morning I had attempted to mollify my aching legs and ribs by lying face-down (which I almost never do) but it just made me anxious. I did it because I thought the alternate sleeping position might quell the recovery of my ribs – which I felt was the effect upon them when I lay in the sun at the beach yesterday afternoon. Apparently not. Approaching 1:00 am this morning I decided to get out of bed and do anything other than try to sleep.
Most often when I think back upon my past it covers a period up to and including my work as a lawyer. I seldom for example reflect upon the time I have spent since retirement in the United States of America. Thinking about Ponce Inlet reminds me how odd it is that I don’t normally include in my knee-jerk reminiscences the times we have “wintered” down south. This is odd for two reasons. One, we now spend half of each year here so the relevance is equal to the time we spend in Canada. Two, the events which have transpired here are for the most part more noticeable (unique, dreadful or exploratory) than otherwise. For whatever reason the events here are shrouded in the dissolving mist of “vacation” (which from the point of view of the American Customs Officers is a good thing). It speaks to the underlying dynamic of “home” that our time in the United States of America, while singular, is not as paramount or profound.
Just recognizing this peculiarity strengthens my interest in reviving the American experience in my chest of memories. I have often noted to my American acquaintances that my family’s connection with the United States of America goes back as far as the American Revolution in 1776 when my ancestors emigrated to Canada as United Empire Loyalists.
“The American Revolution was a colonial revolt which occurred between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War with the assistance of France, winning independence from Great Britain and establishing the United States of America.“
More immediately my maternal grandfather was from Massachusetts. His son (my uncle) Lawrence and his daughter (my aunt) Lucille moved to Michigan and California respectively. My sister’s daughter (my niece) Julia has also moved to California. Though I hesitate to adopt a complete insinuation of America it is certainly true that I increasingly feel more “at home” here and less like an interloper. Our authenticity as bona fide American residents expresses itself in modest but palpable ways, including that amorphous character of “belonging” and the calculable feature of time (which in many instances especially here in State of Florida exceeds even the time spent here by American visitors from the northern States).