Relocation

“Will I ever see you again?” asked my friend Dave*.

“I don’t know.”

Moving is different to travelling. Moving gives you the chance to put down roots if you so choose. In this current point in time, travelling is easier than it has ever been before. What distance that once could mean a seven week journey now could be accomplished in eight or ten hours. Airplanes, trains, cars allow for greater speed than ever before in going from one place to another.

Sometimes, the body is there before the heart and the mind catches up. There is not much time to adjust.

Sometimes goodbyes are ‘see you later’ or ‘keep in touch’ or ‘farewell, I’ll probably never see you again’. This happens to exchange students, immigrants, the military. It happens to refugees, missionaries, people on business trips. Even if you just left home to attend school, and home is proving to be just a tad further than you think.

Putting down roots sometimes may sneak up on you. You leave a place you did not call ‘home’ and all of a sudden, nostalgic memories of certain foods or celebrations or people seem to make you ache for it. Other times, putting down roots is a choice. We live in a time and society where the television can fight to be a better past time than inviting a friend over for dinner.

What do you think about relocation and roots?

*Name changed to protect privacy.

8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

Grace

Grace,’ by Phil Wickham.

I need eyes to be my guide
I need a voice that’s louder than mine

Oh won’t Your smile fall over me

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel,’ – Selah.

Wait and See

‘Wait and See,’ by Brandon Heath.

Visiting Home

Many of you have family and friends who are living out of town. Perhaps they are an hour’s drive away, perhaps a little further. This distance can be especially difficult for first years, who may be living away from home for the first time. Where are your friends? Your support network? What about your family?

For some, home may be a little further away than a trip to look forward to over the weekend. Home may be across the province or state line, so waiting to go home means waiting for a day in which class would be cancelled, or a public holiday, such as Thanksgiving. This means the three day weekend trip home would actually be worth it.

Then there are others who look forward to going home over bigger breaks, such as Christmas and reading week. These friends may live across the country, or in another country close by. My friend Mandy* who studies in Ontario, but calls Bermuda home is one of them. These are good times for many students (or faculty members!) to look forward to. Exchange students may look forward to these longer breaks too, in which they may choose to return home or have friends or family members come visit. This was the case for an exchange friend from Scotland.

There are still others whose families and friends may be too far to visit, or they choose not to visit for a variety of reasons. Their family may be a continent away, their friends may be scattered around the globe. When I hear stories like these, the words ‘email, Skype, MSN, Facebook, calling cards’ often come up. Here are a few questions to consider:  Where is home? Who can these people visit? Should they visit? Should they start calling their current location ‘home’?

What about you? How do these questions apply to you?

*Name changed to protect privacy

Food for Thought

Aimee*: “Whenever my aunt cooked a stir-fry, all us kids would go crazy.”

Me: “…whenever my mom made Kraft dinner mac’n’cheese, we would get excited. Mac’n’cheese was a treat. And spaghetti dinners.”

(Pause)

Aimee: “Funny how it was the other way round for you, and the other way round for me.”

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Montreal!

“What are you doing for Chinese New Year?”

“Nothing. Just calling up my family to bai neen (拜年–typically during Chinese New Year, people greet each other with a series of set phrases – such as for good health, for dreams to come true, and for a good harvest to come).”

“I’m going home to Montreal for New Year. Want to celebrate with my family?”

So it was with that invitation that I went, to a city founded and established before Canada itself in Francophone Canada to celebrate Chinese New Year. On Friday night, Hayden’s* parents prepared a South-eastern Chinese dinner – barbeque pork (cha siu,叉燒), shiitake mushroom, ‘drunk’ chicken, steamed fish… It was delicious.

As it was my first time visiting Montreal, Hayden took me around, showing me some of the sights and specialities. Our first stop was hitting up breakfast at a typical Montreal style café. Read more…

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