Home for the holidays

I feel as though I should write a Christmasy post, but I’m not a very Christmasy person. Welcome to my version of holiday thoughts.

I’m going “home” for Christmas, but I don’t know what that means anymore. I haven’t lived there for over 10 years, and there’s never been a family home to return to. We moved a lot, and after we went our separate ways, continued to do so individually.

“Home” is Edmonton. In winter. There’s a reason I didn’t return to Alberta after two years in the temperate climate of Mexico City (though, to be fair, also a reason why I longed for Alberta’s blue skies while living under a yellow haze).

Moving to Vancouver started as a joke: “There’s no way I’m going back to -30 degree winters.” Then I started to think more seriously about returning home. Mexico City is beautiful and vibrant and welcoming, and ugly and polluted and violent, and a life of sticking out like a glow-in-the-dark Amazon who talks funny, being constantly on guard, never quite belonging, became unimaginable after a while, and I longed to go home.

But where was home? I’d lived in Calgary before moving out of the country, but I had little to go back to there, and no desire to go back to Edmonton (it’s a fine city, but …) or any of the other places I’d lived but never put down roots. I had nothing to go back to in Vancouver, except memories of a city whose natural beauty and unnatural charms I’d fallen in love with during rare visits, plus the appealing climate (hey, I like rain). But that was enough to have my heart set on Vancouver.

So here I am, three years later. Except not really, because I recently moved to an adjacent suburb … though I cling to the fact that I’m still in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

While I have no intention of leaving, I have no history of staying, either. If home is where the heart is, I’m glad hearts come in such handy portable containers.

So, um, happy holidays, wherever your heart takes you.

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