(reblogged from Midnight Tomorrow Books, with permission from me)
From the beginning, I wanted Red Moonglow On Snow names to be fairly bland as Lira’s, Elaar’s, and Talyn’s stories are large and weighty enough. But calling their country, their world, nothing but Home is far from being a simple, absense-of- creativity pick. That one word is pretty powerful, and elicits strong emotions in all of us: ones of dread and nightmares, or ones of comfort, stability, and love. Some of us never quite find where our true home is, or what it is. As Lira is asked: Is it a specific place, or is it where those we love most reside?
I’ve often wondered: What would it be like if I traveled to one of my ancestral countries? Would I know it in some inherant way, have an innate pull, a sense of belonging? I’ve felt rootless my whole life. I’ve lived in three states and 13 houses since turning 17. And I’m house hunting again. Only one state, and one region, gave me the feeling I’ve searched for, and it’s not where I currently reside.
When I was 7, my family ended up buying a camper in a little vacation resort in Wisconsin. Those weekends we spent there were home for me. Not the camper, but the earth, the lake, the trees. I knew all the backwards ways to get places and rarely wore my shoes. It was my goal to move there as an adult, but school took me way west instead.
At 23, I returned just outside the area of that camper, and that feeling- Home- poured right back into me and filled me up. I’d pack the baby in the car and drive all the back country farm roads just to do it, wandered the rivers and lake without shoes once again, and just felt like I was where I needed to be. And then it was decided to return west, which was devasting. No matter what I tried, I have never felt tied to the places or houses I’ve lived in since.
I’m back in my home town, a two hour drive from that area, and I avoid going there because of the emotional upheaval I know it’ll cause. But a friend from long ago found me, and turns out she lives fairly close to my sense of home. I drove out to see her, and later went back into my former city for dinner. The emotional upheaval I had feared turned out to be true; I couldn’t control it or reason away the grief and turmoil I felt prior to leaving. I sat in the restaraunt with my sunglasses on and cried while I ate. It’s something about that Wisconsin soil.
A cousin of my mom’s recently investigated our family tree. We went through the many pages and were completely shocked that before moving to our city, that side of the family had lived in that very random Wisconsin town we discovered on a random, fluke invite. We never knew.
Loonngg story short, I did have some innate sense of home tied to a place my family had once been from, which I discovered long after cursing my protagonist with the same sense of disconnect.
Lira grew up in Chi-ca-go knowing she didn’t belong there, and it fractured her sense of self and any feeling of belonging she came close to achieving. But when she is brought to Home, she is brought home, which allows her to heal from all her other traumas. There is no other name their country, their world, could be called. It is strong and powerful, comforting and healing, and filled with love that doesn’t need walls and a roof to hold onto it.
How about you: is your definition of home a particular place, or is it solely where the people you love reside?