Thursday, October 27, 2016

A place to call...


A place is just a place, until it becomes something more.

It remains only a place until you find meaning there.

Meaning is a peculiar brew of knowledge and feelings. Isn't that the same basic recipe that defines every single one of us? Without that combination of knowledge and emotion, a person is not really a person, and a place is just a speck in the universe.

The stronger the emotions and the deeper the knowledge that bind us to a place, the more meaning we attach to it.

When the tug of emotion is strong, and the place is familiar, our bonds grow, with the most important places eventually looming large, punctuating the landscape of our feelings like so many villages, towns, and cities.

Ultimately, a place becomes home.

It's a simple four-letter word. Yet it means so much.

Leaving home is one of the most important transitions we make.

Leaving our parents' home, finding a home of our own, leaving our own home behind, and eventually finding another. None of this is easy, and it takes time.

It hasn't taken that long, all things considered.

Toronto is beginning to feel like home.

16 comments:

  1. I told my sister about my retirement plans , and she's lived in one spot for more than half a century. I said when I get it figured out I like to move on, so now I'm impatient to stuff the wife and dog in a van and take off - in five years. I think I was absent when they handed out the home gene because at this late stage I have no idea where it is.
    I liked the little bit I saw of Toronto so you shouldn't have trouble.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Michael.

      I think your experience is just another manifestation of the law of averages. Your sister got a great big batch of the home gene, so there was less for you.

      I'll wager you are both happy, each in your own way.

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  2. I think the more effort one puts into it the sooner a new location becomes familiar and comforting, i.e. home. Your search for the perfect smoked meat/pastrami/poutine or becoming involved with local riders to name just two, all have the effect of inserting yourself into the local DNA. Now the question is, how long will it take before your immediate responsewhen someone asks where you're from is Montreal? (It took me a couple of years - and I only lived there for four.)

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    1. David a couple of years seems right.

      I'm finding that Toronto is a little like South Florida in the sense that no one is from around here. The big difference is that it seems often that the person is from Montreal. In most cases they left in the late seventies as part of the great migration to Toronto and Ottawa.

      Susan and I hung around longer than most.

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  3. Glad TO is beginning to feel like home. I think home is any place you can share with your loved ones and the rest are just physical attributes. After a little time in any place you find the best hardware stores, get to know the postman, and get into the rhythm of the area. Someday in the not to distant future TO will be as much "home" as Montreal was - it just takes a little time. And then my friend, you be blessed to have 2 homes! Be well.

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    1. Jim I couldn't agree more.

      I like the idea of being blessed with two homes.

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  4. David, you are progressing fast when you are ready to proclaim Toronto your new home. I would have expected a longer period of (cultural?) adjustment. Good job! I still have to figure out what home is. Like Michael it seems that I wasn't around when the "home gene" was dished out. I am going to think about it...

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    1. Like most things in life, attachment to a 'home' as a single place is not, and should not be, one-size-fits-all.

      If you were a home-body, we would never have met, no ride to Belcara, no gelato in San Gimignano, nada, zip.

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    2. SonjaM: I read your 'think about it ...' over there. Then I did a google maps on my movements ... in the last 45 years I've had 4 residences. They would fit in a 2 km circle. Also 3 business locations in the same circle. Only one of those places was 'home'.

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    3. I sometimes think of my life as a bright spot of light seen from space and seeing its travels. It's amazing to think that the spot of light would appear to be immobile for my whole life. Vacation travels would just be tiny momentary blips abroad.

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  5. David, a great topic to look at personally. My roots are deep and solid here...I love to go and do get restless waiting for the next departure but I'm like a 'horse to the barn' when it's time to make the U-turn while I'm out and away.

    Welcome home to Toronto!

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    1. Thanks Doug!

      I like the horse to the barn analogy. There's a little bit of that horse in me too.

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  6. I am glad that TO is feeling like home.

    We've only lived in Corvallis for 15 years but it has always felt more like home than anywhere else.

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  7. I've lived in a variety of cities in my life. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA but have called such diverse cites as Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC "home". I've lived in Tampa, FL for the last 7 years and have been the happiest I've been in a long time here.

    I've been lucky enough to have traveled overseas and stayed long enough to become friends with the locals and drink and eat in their establishments.

    Home is where you start to feel like a local. I've no better explanation than that...but the three rivers always seem to call me back.

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    1. I didn't know that "three rivers" was a byline for Pittsburgh.

      There is also a three rivers in Quebec, better known as Trois Rivières. That town owes its name to the appearance of three separate rivers at the meeting of the St-Maurice and St-Lawrence rivers, as a result of a pair of islands right at the confluence.

      I like your definition of home.

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