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07.17.2006

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copyright 1999-2006
DigsMagazine.com.

a place to call home
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 2

July Fourth we flew out of Edinburgh. The idea was to get the keys to our new apartment, throw down our suitcases, start the paperwork for the boy's new job, then drive down to Massachusetts for a week-plus of family time and chilling on Cape Cod. On the plane, I found myself thinking: get through the next couple of days in Toronto and you'll get to go back home. To Massachusetts. Home.

But when the cab dropped us off in front of the pretty brick Victorian that would be our new digs in Toronto, I took a deep breath of the hot early evening air, then plunked down on the front stoop to wait for the super to meet us with our keys. It smelled like green trees and summer gardens, hot pavement and old wooden porches that had been baking in the sun all day. Closing my eyes, it smelled like home. When I opened them again, a squirrel was watching me. And all the anxieties I'd been feeling went poof.

Right now, I'm still living in an empty apartment waiting for my stuff to arrive. My sole bit of "furniture" consists of a Therm-a-rest and a pillow, which are now serving as bed, sofa, and office chair, depending on the time of day. I have yet to cook a real meal in my new kitchen, because there's nowhere to sit and enjoy a proper meal; my fridge contains milk, cranberry juice, and some random fruit. (As a result, though, I'm discovering that restaurant options are alarmingly good and ridiculously affordable in this city, a combination that could prove dangerous to my wallet.) It's a pretty sad existence, but still, I love it. Toronto might be a new city, but it already feels familiar. And maybe, in the end, home isn't about a particular city or a landscape or a climate anyway, but about being ready -- to stop jumping from one thing to the next, to settle down, to make a commitment. Driving back from our blissful week at the Cape, I didn't feel my usual sadness about leaving my beloved Massachusetts. We were on our way back to Toronto, and heading home.

o 

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