14 July 2004

Out of Place

I've never felt connected to any one place. We moved around a lot when I was a kid (Dad was in the Navy), and then I moved around a fair bit when I went to University. I never really minded moving--I liked going someplace new, finding new cool shops and new magical forests--but I also kind of envied those people who had always had a place they were "from." (I wrote a whole essay about what happens when someone askes me "Where are you from?"). In Newfoundland, the place you're from--where you were born--is the place you "belong to." "Buddy belongs to Carbonear," someone might say. I've never felt I belonged to anywhere in particular. In the aforementioned essay, I concluded that Victoria was "home by default" because it's where I was born, and if you add up all the disconnected years, it's where I lived abut half my life.

But last night I had an epiphany (had a few of those lately; I'll blog on others later). I realized that, even though it's where I was born, my earliest memories are not of Victoria.

Nope. My earliest memories (aside from one that may not be a real memory where all I remember is an ugly patterned carpet that I was hanging upside over as someone shook me by the legs so I'd spit up the lifesaver I was choking on--now there's an ironically named candy) are of Nova Scotia. Halifax, to be precise. I have no idea what our house or even my bedroom in Victoria looked like. What I first remember is Halifax in snow and making snow structures by packing snow into my lunchbox (I think I inherited it from my sister, since I didn't go to school yet). Another memory is a friend and I dipping our mittens into the buckets that hung on the maple trees behind her house and sucking the sap off. I have no memories of Victoria until I was 9 and we moved back (having been to Virginia Beach, VA and Toronto in the meantime).

I wonder if I go to Halifax (which I hope to do, keeping fingers and toes crossed that I can get accepted at NSCAD), if I'd feel any connection?

No comments: