Reading this week’s blog posts about home was so enjoyable – this prompt led to so many great stories and memories, and I felt honoured to read them. The blogs were far from descriptions of each person’s childhood house. Rather, most blog seemed reminiscent of a ‘coming-of-age’ narrative of sorts, in which many of the blogs writers came to understand what/who/how/where they feel belonging. Belonging was definitely the word most commonly used throughout the blogs that I read, and it’s perfectly fitting – at the end of the day, it is the feeling of belonging which determines a home, and it was so interesting to read the variety of ways in which that was achieved.
For some people, they did have a physical area which represented home to them – either the walls and rooms of a house, or their childhood town/city, or even a country. However, the descriptions of these places were always intertwined with stories of people, memories and events which accompanied the physical area.
One or two of the blogs that I read associated home with a significant item, song, sound or smell, because of the memories that were attached to that thing. Similar to those who described a physical house, the choice of these items was related to the memories that were attached to them, rather than the thing itself.
A very common description of home in the blogs that I read was people – either a parent/parents, sibling or a significant other. Often this was attached to feelings of love and care, and were often contrasted by moments in which the individual felt isolated, or alone, or unloved. Ultimately, I believe that belonging and feeling at home is always going to be related to people in some way – either through their physical presence, or the memories associated with them.
In contrast, some people described finding a home within oneself. Personally, I find this a difficult concept to understand. For me, home will always be about some form of surroundings – whether people, places or things. I think that being comfortable within oneself, and having that be enough, is a very valuable mindset. However, I do not think that that replaces the need for a ‘home’ of some sort. One blog that I read described how travelling abroad actually solidified his understanding of Canada as his home. I found this interesting because he seemed to be someone who travelled around extensively, and therefore could naturally find home within himself, and yet Canada still held a specific significance for him.
Some people wrote about multiple homes, either through travelling a lot in childhood, or transitioning into adult life. Sometimes those moves were accompanied by a loss of that home-feeling towards a place. Many blogs showed that a person’s idea of home is dynamic, and shifts across different seasons of life. For some, a place that once meant ‘home’ can loose that title.
Lastly, a theme that I noticed, which all of us must come to terms with as Canadian residents, is the fact that our (at least temporary) physical home is on taken land. A part of calling Canada home includes accepting it’s history as our own, and that can be a difficult thing to do in light of the abuses in Canada’s past, particularly towards the First Nations groups who are the original residents of this land. Movements such as Idle No More, and current events such as the Trans mountain pipeline, in which Indigenous voices are still being ignored, make clear that we still have a long road ahead of us in shaping our collective home.