Thursday, November 12, 2009


With our recent visit back to the Yukon I've been thinking a lot about what "home" is. Stephen and I would get into discussions about whether we were going home or leaving home, often we would be on alternating sides of the debate.

We're lucky in the sense that we both grew up in the same town and so visits back are easy-ish. We discovered though that there are other problems with having two families and multiple groups of friends in the same community, all of whom expect plenty of face time. We really enjoyed the time we did spend with everyone, but trying to do everything with everyone proved somewhat impossible. And so we had to make do (lots of driving was involved).

Much of our discussions revolved around the idea of heart. Having grown up in the Yukon we both have a deep abiding love for the vast lands of forest and mountain and river, and it is an integral part of who we are as people. It is a part of our identity. But something we've also realized is that as we've grown together and learned to be a family, we have put down various roots in the places where our relationship has developed the most; Victoria, British Columbia and here in Christchurch. These two places are the landscapes where we have shaped our relationship together and really, our lives to come. It is in these places that we can look forward more easily and find new paths to follow. And so we are left with two distinct homes, a place a rememberance, of youth, and of roots. And a place of looking forward, of new roles, and of endless possibilities.

Home, now, is about change. It is about loosing the shackles of a "role" into which we've grown and instead, making our own place in the world. It is a new and wonderful experience to be making our own way in the world, where no one has predetermined ideas about what we can or cannot do, about who we are and where we belong.

I will never forget where I have come from and will never stop calling the Yukon 'home'. But for now (and for who knows how long), New Zealand is proving to be a wonderful home in which to learn, grow, and become.


  1. Erin: You have written a very thought provoking comment about "home." It's a concept many of us grapple with when we go to visit family in our place of origin. And a new twist has been added to the discussion of home as we watch our kids leave the home we lovingly made for them here to set themselves up elsewhere. Wynne

  2. Mennonites have wandered off regularly to new "homes", usually because somebody (with a sword) didn't like our politics. So we got used to the idea of home as extended family, that is stretched out. Groszma wept when I left home with Mum to head to Ontario, she figured she'd never see me again - emigration being that way. We did visit a couple of more times before she died but never to stay. A wandering tribe.