I am born at home.
I guess it’s safer to give birth in a hospital.
It’s not like my mom did it by herself. My dad and a midwife were there.
Now that I’m writing this, I have no idea why they did it this way. Maybe I should ask them.
It’s not like there were no hospitals nearby in 1994.
The southwest of France is no wild west either.
July 14th is France’s national day. I was born overnight, under the sound of the fireworks, just past midnight.
I grew up in Tonneins. A town of 10k inhabitants bordered by the Garonne river. Jean Macé elementary school. Then Germillac middle school. During high-school, I moved to an even smaller town 10km from Tonneins called Aiguillon.
All in all, I spent 18 years of my life in Lot-et-Garonne. Lot-et-Garonne is among the poorest departments of France in terms of GDP.
My parents were born there. They spent most of their life there. But they enjoyed traveling.
I guess this paradox made me hate the condition for a human to be chained to his birthplace.
It’s not that I don’t like my birthplace. No. My heart still shivers at the memory of the green pastures and forests of Gascony. The sun has a different color. The smell of fresh dirt makes you feel alive. I believe Brassens says it better:
It’s true that they are pleasant, all these little villages, all
these market towns, these hamlets, these localities, these cities,
with their fortified castles, their churches, their beaches,
they have only one weakness and that is being inhabited,
and it’s being inhabited by people who look on
all others with contempt from the top of their ramparts,
the race of chauvinists, the rosette wearers,
the complacent idiots who were born in some place.
- The ballad of the people who were born in some place, Georges Brassens
Where I come from is a part of me, but it doesn’t have to define me anymore.
I feel at home wherever the wind blows.