Hostion Ho - The Heart Of Home

by GEM Magazine / Jun 27, 2015 / Comments

Looking out the window in a café, the blooming plum trees sway gently and silently in the wind. Something suddenly appears in my head, waving to the fallen petal.

It has been almost half a year in Canada, this country is still new to me. I arrived in Victoria on its coldest day, patiently waiting for a warmer season filled with abundant sunshine and warmth.

Seasons change distinctively here, like a Dan Brown novel. The constantly changing story always evolves with brief hints of what’s to come.

Spring in this northern land is more temperate than I thought. The wind is cold, but never gets into your bones, and it always blends with the scent of flowers and the heat of the sun. Whenever I hug tight my open coat, I always feel bad that all these scents and warmth can’t stay with me.

The sun is not a shy person in this season, the same goes for the flowers who do their job profusely and you can actually feel the pride in them.

I constantly have the desire to take a walk or bike around. It’s not just because walking and biking is the most convenient way to get somewhere if you don’t have a car, it’s because the sunshine, blossoms, and melody of birds, were asleep for the whole winter, just waiting until this moment to awaken and ask for a dance. How can you say no?

The place I come from is nothing like this northern land. Shunde is a small town in the very south of China. There it embodies a child who is deep in love during spring time, intense and meticulous, but never losing its gentle nature. I will never forget the smell of rain and sweat in this season. The heavy raindrops and the delicate sweat volatilize in the air, filling in every breath that you take.

I don’t really miss the humidity back at home to be honest. However, it protects us from the sun as it refines the sun’s tough rays in the air so that when the sun touches your skin, even on the sunniest day, it feels like no more than a soft kiss.

Many people say that the seasons in Shunde are rather dull. I understand, but I personally quite like this kind of dullness as I believe that similarities in the surface usually conceal the unique charm underneath.

It’s just like those games that ask you to spot differences between two identical pictures, the pleasure is incomparable when you can finally spot them out.

I am not the type of person who always thinks of home when I travel, but Victoria triggers my homesickness all the time. I didn’t understand it in the beginning, but when I see people wandering in the sun here and their skin sparkles, or when they smile with the same angle as the people in my homes town, the answer becomes clear.

It’s not the matter of the seasons, food or culture, or distance. It is the cities’ core. Shunde and Victoria share a similar core, a core like water.

Shunde is a watery region and Victoria is a harbour city. The nature of water flows in people’s blood from both places. The connections that I feel between the locals and I are genuine and mutual. Their passion, hospitality, pragmatic attitude and sincereness share the same touch as what the people from Shunde have built over generations.

Yes, we are so different. We belong to different oceans, have different temperatures and depth, but now I see there are metaphorical rivers running between us, connecting us, and uniting us.

We have a very old saying in China, “The greatest benevolence is like water.” Water never jostles for anything, but it nurtures everything we have in this planet through countless days and nights.

This character, I would say is the best description of the common that both places share. They are neither a place where you can pump up your adrenaline nor a city where money is almighty.

They are like a stream that runs quietly in a valley, sometimes rippled by the surprise of a fallen petal or waved by the presence of rocks. What the cities can offer in their hands is a life of peace and calm, with some surprises in between. Nothing fancy or exciting, but they both nurture people with beautiful souls.

This is the feeling of home, when a sense of belonging strikes in your vein, when you see there is no difference between everyone, beyond the flesh.

As a traveler, this is one strange yet sweet feeling. I have never felt this way in any other place before. I’m aware of all the differences, yet my heart feels at home.

I wonder a lot in this world, not because I am lost. It's because I love surprises and I know I am always home.

Isn’t that all I’ve been searching for? To see differently, speak differently and feel differently, but always keep your heart under the roof of home. Keep it tranquil and free.

I put my hand around my cup. My tea is already cold. The wind is still blowing, the plum tree is still swaying gently and silently in the wind. Looking at all the dancing flowers in the air, I suddenly feel like I can hear them falling. It sounds like the slight breathing sound my mother used to make in her deepest sleep.

The season is about to change, so is everything in life, but I am ready.

Hostion is member of LGBT, a traveler completing a master at Royal Roads University, and a tiny Chinese guy trying to find a sense of recognition in this crazy big world. He works as a translator as language fascinates him, cries at sad movies and always sees the best in people. Hostion believes that a smile has healing power.

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