Quilting Challenge: June [and musings on “home”]

I have been thinking about home a lot lately, perhaps because I am on the cusp of a big driving trip across the country to Alberta where I grew up. So I feel certain that June’s 2012 Quilting Challenge square should be a house! I love that Mr. Owl looks like he’s perched on the roof top.

I have many places I call home. Alberta of big sky and my first 20 years is home. City: Edmonton, neighbourhood: Parkallen. Friends and family, school and lessons, choir and dancing, adventures on foot, bike, bus and car, flights of imagination in the backyard. It’s more the memories that are home because by now a lot of the people have moved and the landscape has changed a fair bit. It’s the capital “H” home of my mind and heart.

Toronto is my adult home, In fact I’ve been here for 14 years as of this week — maybe that’s why home is on my mind! I came for dance school and fell in love with the city. And with a boy, who I married. I discovered how strong and able and independent and brave I am in this big city. And to my continued surprise, I rarely manage a streetcar ride without seeing someone I know. it’s become the lowercase “h” home, but no less important in my list of homes.

Now Toronto’s Cabbagetown is home-home. A house-of-dreams (yes, you are correct, that’s an obscure Anne of Green Gables reference) and its century-home maintenance realities is the literal roof-over-the-head-home. Now I am maker and keeper of the first home my boys will remember, with their own set of smells and colours and sounds and favourite corners. Their own intangible roots are stretching from this very house and city into the world.

And Adam, that boy I fell in love with, he and our 2 boys are HOME. All caps. Full stop. They are my chosen home, my heart and my landing place, my still point.

My friend Shannon Litzenberger, a prairie girl from the prairiest of all provinces (Saskatchewan of course!) and a  powerhouse artist, arts advocate and policy junkie, is currently developing a dance project called HOMEbody. It’s a multi-faceted artistic musing on what home is, literally and figuratively.  Definitely worth checking out!

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