The Los Angeles neighborhood of my childhood was not my true home; I was certain of it. That's not to say that I felt/hoped/believed myself to have been adopted. No, I was certain I was disguised (against my will) as human.
So everyday I searched for signs in the garden, convinced my real lineage was seared here and there into the flesh of this earth, in this dimension. And one day those clues would be revealed, and I would know and in that instant be transported home to my real family in my true form. Sometimes the message would be in a massing of petals in the cracks between middle-class patio stones.
Other times I'd notice the way bare shrub branches curved against a mossy wall.
As I grew a bit older, the messages became more complicated, the syntax of limbs and lichen, rigid stone and flowing wood confounding my best efforts to decipher the code surely left for me.
Even simple tree trunks drew yet resisted my attention.
The years passed and the evidence that I was simply a human female gained credibility, while the symbols promising a more genuine sense of myself remained inscrutable. I didn't even have a superpower; and tree bark became just tree bark.
However, once I picked up a camera, plant portraits soon took the place of family vacation snapshots. Studying these silent images through a lens seemed to bring something into focus.
Water drops became worlds and leaf surfaces were dark matter revealed.
Or they're just a way of attracting pollinators. And rain that beads up on leaves says more about surface tension and texture than interstellar mapping. And tree bark is the skin of tree guts. I know this.
But I also know that imagination sometimes feels like memory. And memories can shape the deepest parts of ourselves.
I'm also someone who if (when?) she heard that distinctive Tardis wheeze, would SO turn around expecting to see Doctor Who. First I'd demand to know what took him so long, and then all those lost languages and unreadable texts would come into focus. I'd remember who and what I was. And I would be home.