mehet_weret: (Mortal: Shy/ sad)
[personal profile] mehet_weret
Home should have been DC. That was Mom's home, after all, the place where all her studies had always been, where Ellen had been born and grew up for a big chunk of her life. Where she went to school, other than those three years in England.

And in a way, DC was home. Ellen loved the space which downtown buildings gave to each other, the mix between the clumsiest of red tape pushers and the most efficient of administrators - which could, at times, be even the same persons. She loved the feel of pride in the pale binds of history which the place wove for the people who looked for it there, and the knowledge of power which seemed to permeate the sidewalk pavements. Or so those walking on them made it seem.

She loved the universities, her mother's realm. The little towns within the city or around it which teemed with knowledge and learning and imagination and leisure in ever-changing proportions which never failed to amaze or amuse.

And she loved her mother and her friends, the people who anchored her here more than any sight in the capital of her, on documents, home country.

But it wasn't home, not quite.

Her home could have been in England. Her father's family had a stateliness in their blood, gravitas which felt right to her despite how different they looked and how some of the Anscombe family never abandoned their odd looks at the dark-skinned, out-of-wedlock and clearly unplanned child of their beloved second son. Never mind that said son had taken up and built a very respectable academic career which relied not at all on the family name; nor that neither Edward or Ellen herself ever made a step to legalizing Ellen as her father's heiress in any way.

That stubbornness itself endeared them to her. The knowledge of what was theirs and selectiveness in what would be adopted.

And her brothers were really beautiful, in their pink-cheeked, blond way, and she loved them to bits.

She loved the green hills and the tall trees growing there, the cool wind always stirring their leaves. She loved the old, stately buildings, and the busy-ness of the cities which were so close to the 'country' that in the States, they would barely be considered separate at all. And she loved the roots of history, battled for and soaked in knowledge and ignorance, in blood and in tears, which held the islands together, even when they were apart.

She loved England, the United Kingdom, all of it. But it certainly wasn't home, either.

No.

Home was the desert. The scorching wind biting her cheeks with sand under the living sun (her sun), the chill of the night sneaking under the most modern and praised of fabrics because there, oh, there in the desert, time never really passed. Not the way people in her almost-homes thought of it.

Sure, there were cars which never got stuck in the sand criss-crossing the dunes; there were planes flying overhead, and enough ways to carry water and food to never be lost in the desert. There were cities reaching for the stars (her stars) and teeming with a mixture of dark sweating skin and modern technology.

But the desert was always there, and when she stood at the wall of a dig, facing east to catch the first rays of the dawn, all the things which had changed didn't matter.

The green lands of her father had been muck and tears and ignorance when the sands had ruled and been ruled by people who cherished the brethren of Hathor. The white city of her mother had been wild lands with people of now-unknowable potential, subjected, nearly eradicated by strangers they had accepted as gods when these lands had seen the rise and fall of kings of glory, the sons and daughters of actual gods.

The desert had forced people to know or they would not survive; the knowledge had been their meeting with the gods.

Her gods.

This stark place, the strange point where night and day met with barely a greeting and new and old mingled, it had been where her parents had met. Home of neither of them, it was where Ellen was ever drawn. Even when curled up in a window seat in the Anscombe manor with a book, watching the rain wash the windows, it was a book on this land. Even when she put her school backpack together under her mother's warm dark eye, it was a memento of this land which always found its way among her pencils.

This was home.

Watching the hawk cut through the silvery blue of the sky.

Tracing the wind blow over the top of a dune.

Breaking a winding trail through the morning sand, shadow pooling and then retreating as dawn's fire burned into each step.

Seeking out the little creatures which dusk brought out from their hideouts from the sun.

Tracing hieroglyphs she could have recited in her sleep before she turned fifteen.

Egypt.

Home.

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Ellen Maharet Anscombe

February 2012

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