Our Land

JEONGYOON ISABELLE SONG (MArch’17)

Home is inseparable from property. This ideology stems from my family’s relationship to our land. Our lives were shaped not only by the house that we lived in, but also the surrounding field that my grandparents cultivated. How we used the land defined and changed our family’s narrative: the harvest took our family from a remote region in South Korea all the way to Yale. Though I only visit this place once a year, and a few days at that, there is a sense of belonging and attachment that pulls me back—homeward—by virtue of its role in shaping the story and identity of my family and myself.

Now, ownership of land is considered either a luxury or an outdated agrarian practice. Individuals, families, and communities are more transient than ever, gravitating toward a location for the short-term provisions they offer rather than seeking a place to grow deep roots. For me, this separation of the ‘home’ from ‘land’ makes us ‘homeless’—our lives are filled with points of departure but never a place of return. But I would hope that the yearning for home still exists in all of us as it does in me.