Most of us live in a mixture of concrete, wood, stucco, glass – you get the idea. Defining “home” in this sense is easy. Doing the same at an abstract level is not. What is home? It’s a constant progress of thoughts and doubts in writing my blog and reading those written by my counterparts. The experience of reading what Linda, Sylvia, and Victoria have written is a beautiful one; it demonstrates the power of stories. As they share with us parts of their lives and their sense of “home”, there are commonalities.
Firstly, home is a highly emotional concept. Emotions like safety, love, and nostalgia construct our homes. Home embodies the goodness that comes out of human relationships.
Secondly, home is cultural. It contains stories of ancestry and migration. The very same stories that confirm one’s affinity to a land.
This leads us to the final point – home is landed. Part of it at least, has to be attached to a parcel of land on this earth. The stories are set on a tree in the family backyard, or in an old mansion in the family’s old country.
The above leads to some discomfort as a Canadian. It tells us the displacement of peoples from land traditionally home to them, to which they have significant emotional attachment, and on which their cultures have formed cannot be permissible. This discomfort makes listening to stories from all of us a matter of importance and a necessity if we hope for understanding and reconciliation.