It’s certainly the most poignant and “to the point” word I think I’ve had since beginning the “word of the year” tradition – and it’s a long-standing one.
Late last year, I found myself uprooted from what had been my home for sixteen years – and longer really if you consider all of Vancouver Island. But the island was a place that became home after a considerable period of time. I was not enamoured at first. I felt it was isolated and cut off. What felt like home – at least in North America – was the West Coast. I felt it immediately when I first flew to Vancouver in the spring of 1986. Here was a place that was not frozen for half the year – a place where, in March, rhododendrons were blooming. I was enchanted! By the end of the summer, I’d moved and was thrilled to call this place home.
It wasn’t just the climate either – it was the first place I’d encountered in Canada that had real mountains – and they were so accessible. I was all over the North Shore mountains and all the way up to Whistler so fast….
Where I have always felt most “home” has been Europe. And perhaps that shouldn’t surprise me. I was born there and my roots are there. There is something about a warmth and coziness and a mellowness there that calls to me.
But I’m not about to live there. So – where to call home now?
Yesterday, when I came home after spending the day in Nelson, with the afternoon sun pouring in through the windows and the warmth of a fire, I told Simon that It felt like I’d come home. I felt the same way today when we came back from our walk with the dogs at Bannock Point. I have come to the place where I feel at home here more and more. There is a lot to like here: the people for certain. The members of the KMC are some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met. The people in town are warm and welcoming.
The snowshoeing here is terrific. You have to drive a ways to get there – but it’s good. I’m still not sure about the hiking. I miss the easy access to the alpine. I miss the green winters (not this year!!!) and the early springs. I don’t miss the damp. Here, even when it’s colder, it feels warmer. I do like the lack of winter rain. I don’t like the restrictions to my driving in bad weather.
Things to like and not to like. I do believe that any place on earth will have both. The perfect place? No such thing.
What I can focus on right now – in this moment – is that I am feeling comfortably at home in this house. And, as Simon and I grow together in this relationship, it becomes home more and more every day.