Where is home?

They say that “Home is where your heart is”; but I have two homes; does that mean I have two hearts too?

I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and as a West Coast girl my roots run right into the deep blue pockets of ocean that surround my home town.

Mountains and ocean, that’s what my soul was steeped in.

When I moved to Toronto in my mid twenties I didn’t have a clue how genetically programmed I was to my birth home.  I loved the big smoke – the noise, the people, and the general hubbub that made up TO.  I did miss the ocean, even though Toronto had a lake, and the mountains and their navigational attributes slowly faded from my mind, I used the CN Tower to figure out which direction I was going, when I could see it.

I was originally only going to stay to establish myself as a working actor and then I was going to move back to Vancouver.  I never intended staying here, but TO and all its opportunities slowly starting turning this West Coaster into a big city girl.

And the time flew by. The next thing I knew I was a working actor, a wife, and a mom.

I visited my parents whenever I could – at least twice a year and then after my son was born I realized that I didn’t want him to think that Toronto was the only city in Canada, so we would spend at least two weeks every summer with my family in Vancouver and one week every other Christmas.

My son was about five years old and I was newly divorced, we were flying to Vancouver for our annual summer visit and had lucked out with a window and an aisle seat. As we approached Vancouver and all its splendour I said, “Look, honey, we’re home.” And I’ll never forget what he said, “No, Mommy, Toronto’s home.”

And there it was. The biggest question I ever had to answer. Where was home?

Try explaining your genetic roots theory and its pull on your heart to a five year old.

Thank goodness my forte is improv because I came up with, “Mommy has two homes, my little girl home and my big girl home.” “Yeah, but mommy we live in Toronto.”

Yeah, we did live in Toronto, so did that mean that I would always have two homes, or did I have to pick?

I was never good at picking anything (insert two ex husbands’ names here) so what if I picked the wrong one? And my son had a very good point; we did live in Toronto in a house that I called home. So could I have two homes? My childhood home that included the mountains, ocean and my wonderful parents and siblings? Or my home in Toronto where I lived with my son?

People have a home and a cottage, was that the same thing? People live in two different countries for six months of the year was that like having two homes?

I asked around. I researched the internet. And what I came up with was: People mostly said that House A was home and the other was the either the cottage or their other house. No help there, thank you, so I let it go.

But every time I flew into Vancouver it would hit me, where was home?

It took me years to finally realize that you can have two homes, because home is where you love and are loved. And home is where you feel free.

My soul tells me that Vancouver will always be my genetically programmed home. I take a huge breath in and I feel the love of my family and the inspiration from the mountains and the ocean and I know I’m home. And as I fly back to Toronto I take a deep breath in and feel the love of my husband and my son and I know  I’m back home.

I am so lucky, I have two homes and one heart that gets filled up with love in two different places in Canada.

4 thoughts on “Where is home?”

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. It was lovely. 🙂

    I was born in Iraq but lived most of my life in Canada, and so I find it funny when people ask me what my home town is because it refers to where you where born, usually. I don’t really have that attachment to that place though. I still, however, feel a deep connection and love for the people. 🙂

  2. that brought tears to my eyes…I’ve often wondered the same thing – or why when I drive through the mountains and I get to Canmore I feel like I can breathe again. this is a great piece. thanks.

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