Monday, 1 June 2015

What is home?

I'm the daughter of a military guy - we were on the move from the time I can remember. Every couple of years it was a new school, new best friend, new bedroom...well, you get the drill. My fella is the same with one important difference - both his parents came home lots and his family still does. I could go back to my Dad's hometown - Deloraine - and not know a soul - well, the pharmacist is the son of the pharmacist that was my dad's best pal, who is also the son of the pharmacist when my dad was a little gaffer - but no family that I know of. They are in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and so forth. My mother's hometown? We never went there. Not once. It is Rossburn, Manitoba and supposed to be a nice sort of place. She has no family there either. I have some cousins from her side of the family - three in Vancouver and two in the western United States - Oregon and California.

I have two sons in Ottawa, a sister in Perth (in Ontario) a step-mother in London, Ontario, a brother in Yellowknife, NWT. I have three grandkids in Nova Scotia, and one in Ottawa. I have a step-dot in St. John's, Newfoundland and a step-son in Halifax, NS.

My fella, on the other hand, has a sister, brother-in-law and his only niece and nephew living in nearby Happy Valley. His kids are my step-kids so you know where they are. His mother (91!) lives in a home in Happy Valley and he has a sister in St. John's and a bro in Ottawa/Montreal. He has at least 16 cousins in the tiny village where we live - I just made that up but if anything I under estimated. He has an uncle and a couple of aunts (three?) that live there too. He has cousins from both sides of his family. Other cousins visit regularly. He even had a great aunt until late last year.

My point is that he feels at home here.
I feel at home with him so I feel at home here too, but if he was from Kalamazoo I'd feel at home there.

Why am I pondering the nature of home? Well, in two weeks I'll be home for a visit. Or I'll be leaving home to go on a vacation. Which is it? I really don't know.

Some of the articles and books I've been reading on the nature of trauma, the roots of addiction, and so forth - particularly but certainly not exclusively as an aboriginal issue - talk about the sense of dislocation. What is that if not a hankering after a home - even nomads have that. They might travel the land but they usually go the same sort of routes and they travel with their home and loved ones all with them.  Have I been looking for a place called home my whole life? Not sure quite honestly. I can't have what lots do - I can't have grown up in one spot - but I can know that this sense of dislocation is more of a spiritual than temporal feeling.

I'll let you know what I come up with.

And you? Where's your home?