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Theme Song of the Day:
Night Windows – The Weakerthans
British Columbia is a place that sings loudly to me. I have grown up with the mountains and the ocean and the forests in my backyard – three decades of walking through postcard-quality scenery on a day-to-day basis – and yet it still takes my breath away.
We’ve all heard that one of the great things about going away is how much you appreciate what you’ve got when arriving home again. This has to be true for so many people around the globe. The comfort, familiarity, and routine of home…it’s got its appeal. We derive focus and a sense of direction with this blanket of habit and recognition.
A pattern to smudge over the chaos.
In this part of the world, on the west coast in particular, we are blessed to not only have wild, natural beauty at our doorstep, but the laid-back friendliness of the people that surround us should not be taken for granted. A simple stop in the middle of a busy street (with a slack-jawed look of confusion) warrants a stranger stopping to not only offer assistance… but you know what?…uh, I was headed in that direction already so why don’t I just lead the way and make sure you get to where you’re going?…Want half my muffin?
It’s like living in a Disney movie.
This is not to imply naivety. Not at all. We just have friendliness and it perpetuates itself…one person smiles and then the next. It’s science! As a whole we are educated and alert and maybe we have an underlying confidence that allows us to put ourselves out there. It’s really something.
Where am I going with all of this provincial pride? Well I didn’t actually intend to go on and on about how great we are up here in the Pacific Northwest. I just couldn’t help myself…!
But truth be told, I guess it all comes down to the fact that I’m seeing home in a very different light than ever before. My main component isn’t here anymore. A huge part of the ‘home’ equation has been taken away. My comfort and belonging is emotionally tied up in the life I have been building with one person for ten years. I can still appreciate the qualities of home. I still have that life…it’s just very different now…it’s individual – my observations may be more objective in some regards because of this… or, I don’t know – maybe they’re teetering towards a more subjective nature?
Anyway, I didn’t have too many expectations of coming back. I knew I had to face the paperwork I have been putting off. I have beautiful new babies in my life (all of them boys!) that I have had so much fun visiting. I am honoured to take part in a couple of weddings, some BBQs, and more than a few parties! I get to visit with friends and family and its been fantastic so far.
A few hiccups along the way have threatened the digestive peace that is home. Some of the hiccups are bigger than others, but I know I am strong; I can handle these…I will drink my water upside down and get through the worst of it (by the way – in Oz they stand on their heads and drink water right-side-up to cure hiccups).
I am very aware that as issues arise, the temptation to pull away from all of it gets stronger. I have to be careful not to become too numb or distant when dealing with stressful situations. Sometimes the little things seem unmanageably big and then at others the big things seem so small in comparison to all that I have been through.
Uh…yup….’subjective’ is the clear winner here.
Give me the stress of a lost bus ticket or a language barrier any day – it seems easier than trudging through even the smallest confrontation or mishap at home.
All of this: the good and the bad, it’s all part of life. Things should get easier as time moves forward. For now I am happy to visit ‘home’ and I am looking forward to heading back on the road in only a few short weeks.
Let the adventure continue.