December 26, 2004

Going home

When you read this I may be in the air over the Grand Canyon, or I may be going through Customs in Montreal, or perhaps I am driving home, almost midnight, to my solitary home by the lake in the woods, wondering why I am going to this home, why I live here so far away from the people I love most, my children, in another time zone.

Usually when I pull into my driveway I understand the pull of my life in Nova Scotia, the peaceful, quiet life, the beautiful landscape, the sounds of water rushing by my house all year round. When I walk into my empty house this time, the ceiling will be fixed in my studio, the paintings back in place downstairs, lots of papers and magazines to sort through, toss, clean up after a major renovation. Cleaning up from many years of pushing things aside. Another phase of my life in my home.

Yet it always makes me wonder what makes a home. A house, the people in it, the life that happens there, the choices. I chose this place after many false starts. This is the third house I have owned in Nova Scotia, my sixth residence in the twenty plus years I have been living there. I feel more at home in this house, maybe because I had a major say in designing and building it, maybe because the setting is so very beautiful and peaceful. But a home is only what you put in it, people and thoughts and activities.

I felt more at home living in New York City than I did growing up in Bethesda, Maryland. I would walk for hours through the streets of Manhattan at all hours of the day and night, never feeling the fear or strangeness that most people expect. Now when I visit NY I feel the speed of people rushing by, feel I could be run over by people if I stand too long on the sidewalk. A foreign, unpleasant feeling now after living in a slower environment. I love NY but have no desire to go back there to live. Nor do I have any regrets about leaving any of my other “homes.” I do like living away from noise and speed, waking up to trees and birds as companions.

After my last visit with Tamar and her family, in September, it was very difficult to go “home.” I wanted to turn around and go back to LA right away. I had to be where I was, to work, to plan, to associate, create and now that I have spent some more time here and some in Montreal with Aaron & Jessica, perhaps, maybe, it will feel more like home when I get back to Nova Scotia. Taking my memories with me, building new ones.

Posted by leya at December 26, 2004 12:33 AM