Home is everything that I’ve left. An ever-shifting reality. The only one I know, really.
I’ve never defined it so much as the physical spaces, but the memories that each portrayed.
I don’t think I think of a single place when I think of home. When I feel lost, home are the places that I run to. Home is not where the heart is, it’s more of an internal compass–a suburban lighthouse, signaling and welcoming my retreat
Home feels like being lost on coast to coast adventures somewhere in the heartland. Like burning twilight for the last inning of neighbourhood baseball. It’s being the last pick of that team captain and just being happy that we’re gonna play some ball.
Home is made of flashing billboards of fading memories–sheet music to the harmony of youth.
I think that when we talk about home we all feel this way to some extent. Home is not a collection of things and crafted building materials, but a collection of memories. Here, I think, comes the oft cited juxtaposition between a house and a home.
A picture of the backyard of my childhood home is nothing I’d share on Instagram today. It’s green and overgrown in the summer, full of life—and more likely a murky brown, when not covered in snow, in the winter months.
Yet, this is where I would often find myself escaping. Escaping even from the house that adorned the property. I spent summer evenings in the spaces in between my backdoor and the treeline chasing fireflies into soup containers. I’d marvel at their glow, and share with them that I’ve really been wanting a night-lite.
Our property really only contained a half-acre, meager by suburban Midwest standards. But the treeline, which began in our backyard, was but the open door to childhood adventure. I know today that the relative size was no larger than a shopping center parking lot. But as I child it contained limitless possibilities and the entirety of nature.
Maybe escaping from the sounds of familial bickering, or needing sometime away from my brothers and sisters, made me enjoy more the days we spent hiding in the never-ending shade of the massive oak-filled forest.
Mother Nature never made old growth forests for climbing; the branches are far too high on the trunk to grab onto. This just made me wonder more what the world might look like, sitting atop the canopy.
The smaller ones proved far better for climbing. The funny thing is, on afternoons I spent conquering altitude, I’d look down for the first time and remember that I’m afraid of such heights. It was at those moments that I’d stop, sit, and listen to the sounds of nothingness.
I realized just recently that I am always earphones whenever I’m walking to/from class or my home, and in doing so, I’m never truly alone with myself like I’d have been on those branches.
Heavy machinery tore down the grove one morning for a new development.
I spend the predawn on the weathered porch of my East Vancouver tenement wondering if you’re already tired of the Ohio suns. Half a world away; I’m just happy it isn’t raining. It has been since the Olympics.
I often am asked what this place means to me. I haven’t an answer for them, sometimes it just means that home is 2000 miles away.
Yet, I often ask myself when waking up to the mountains on the north shore how I could live ever anywhere else.
I don’t think you realize that a place is “home” until you leave it. When the sense of longing is tied to more than people. To a warm bed, a familiar scent, the sound that the chimney makes right before a storm.
What I Learned In Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom.Dir. Karrmen Crey and Amy Perreault. First Nations Studies Program, U. of British Columbia, 2007. Web. http://www.intheclass.arts.ubc.ca