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Archive for March 29th, 2019

What is Home?

A week in my childhood home is coming to an end today as we fly back across the country.

Coming back home to visit leaves me with a mental conundrum … what is home?

Each visit back I experience the joy of being with my parents and other family members, time with old friends, bumping into people from my past who greet me warmly, as well as familiar places, tastes and sights.

Over these days ‘back’, I realized that I have now lived in the West longer than I have the East, longer than any other place … village, town or city. It is a stunning realization for me.

It is a realization that accompanies another, more disconcerting one … this is not my home anymore. It leaves me with an ache in my heart, akin to grief … for so much of my identity is tied, not just to the people, but to this place.

I love my past, the place of my upbringing. I love how the air smells, how rock along the Bay of Fundy have a pink hue, how the sky goes on forever and the sun lasts so long into the days. I love the spoken accents, distinguishing the variation of language and county. I love that please, thank-you and sorry are offered as regularly as a door held open for whoever is near.

Of course it is the people who I will have an eternal connection with, even as our daily lives go on, independent of each other. It is, not in speaking of the present, but the past that unites us once again. We share memories that bind us more tightly, at times, than blood.

That past, is our common bond, that which will always give us community together … and community, even if it is primarily of a distant place and time, will be our home … away from home.

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