I remember visiting my parents, not long after moving to the Yukon, and referring to their house as "home". My mom told me that it made her happy to hear that I still thought of it that way.
From then on, I made a concious effort not to refer to it as home. I'd decided that the Yukon would be my new home; I could not have more than one.
I am home now, in my parents' house. It is always a comfortable feeling, as we drive from the airport through the familiar streets of the city in which I grew up. It is a deep exhale as I step through the side door and drop my bags. Everything is familiar: the smell, clean and sweet; the creak of the stairs; the way I immediately begin opening the refridgerator and the cupboards, like my teenaged self looking for something to eat; the way my sister and I fall into the rhythm of setting and clearing the table; the dinner-table conversation. All of the things I fought hard in my twenties, I embrace now. This will always be home.
But home is also a log cabin on the other side of the country, blanketed in snow. Home is the woodstove softly ticking, it is the generator humming through the dark night, it is the complete silence that accompanies a 3 am trip to the outhouse. Each time we drive the long highway between Whitehorse and Dawson, I am awed by the vastness of the territory, the wildness of it; where the only thing moving is the wind through the trees, the only sound the beat of a raven's wings. It is something I treasure but will never possess. It is a darkly beautiful jewel. It is terrifying and comforting at once.
And as we begin this journey of uprootedness, of travel, of not-knowing, home is here, in this bed where I write, my two little boys sleeping spread-eagled, arms flung across one another. Home is any bed that holds the four of us, anywhere, in any country. The familiar sounds of our shared sleep, the particular scent of our skin.
Home is any place in which we all lay down to sleep; home is any place we all wake up, together.