Before I start blathering on about my musings on “home,” I should explain the photos. Simon and I took a dog walk this afternoon on the Butter loop. There was a certain amount of snow in places. Simon did a touch of postholing. Abby just watched in amusement and a tad of puzzlement.
Glad we waited until this afternoon because the sun finally came out and it was much nicer than this morning when it was snowing(!) and grey.
On to the title of this post:
I’ve been thinking about the subject of home most of my life (or so it seems). I’ve even written a couple of dozen short stories addressing the subject in various ways. I had an interesting conversation with Tammy about it. She owns a few houses but home for her is not far from where she was born. I look at history and how people have fought so hard for their homes – the places they were born and grew up and raised their families.
A couple of years ago I read a piece in a magazine, stating that a huge percentage of people in the United States live their entire lives within a very small radius (100 miles or so) of the place they were born. They feel rooted to that spot. It’s an emotional, visceral thing – it’s what they think of us home – the place they belong.
I grew up in southern Germany – well – at least until I was five years old. Then my family emigrated to Canada. We lived five years in Sudbury and then Toronto. In 1986 I moved to Vancouver and then in about 1990 to Vancouver Island. In between I moved A LOT – I mean about once a year until I found my little place above the stable in Cedar and stayed for 16 years.
When I visit Germany, I feel instantly like I have come home. Something settles inside me – a certain contentment – a certain rightness of place. I can’t deny it. Goddess knows I have tried. But it’s there.
The closest I’ve come here is the little place in Cedar.
I think place is more important than we realize – a place where we feel good inside our skins. It’s why people buy homes and property – and why people like Sheila’s parents won’t move from the house they have lived in for 65 years – even though they could sell for millions and retire somewhere amazing.
So – what is all this in aid of? Well, we are selling this house and I feel completely at odds about what’s next. Simon loves this place where we are. I like Vancouver Island because of the lack of winter and my autonomy – being able to drive any time I want. I am not in love with Vancouver Island although every time I go back to the West Coast I feel blessed to be there.
So now what? Simon thinks my mind is completely made up. I feel completely at sea. I don’t know if we can afford the island – not with the way prices have skyrocketed in the last year or two. And here? Where do we go if we stay here? We can’t escape the relentless grey of winter and horrible road conditions. But the mountains are gorgeous.
And then there’s my love of travelling. I am madly frustrated with having everything tied up in the house and not being able to travel. I adore my train trips and hiking in Europe.
And then I see a gorgeous house (that we can’t have) like the one at Adela Holdings (can’t have because it’s part of a commune-style thing that we want no part of) and the house is so lovely and so “right” that I think – “Darn – I could make this work!”
So – I am at a loss.