This picture is courtesy of Alicia and Neil’s Photography.
Have you ever arrived at a new place, a place that felt so familiar, or so right for you, that it instantly felt like home?
The Seasons, Reasons, and Geography in Our Lives.
When I was about 9 years old, I saw the mountains for the first time. We were driving in the car. Suddenly the distant gray shapes became benevolent giants, covered in evergreens, towering over us. Looking out the window at that moment, I felt I was home, and that sensation has never left me. Until my late teens, I lived close to the Rockies and spent many happy camping trips enjoying their magic.
Life led me in a different direction, though, and I have lived most of my adult life on the prairies. When I moved away from Alberta years ago, there was a part of me that assumed I would somehow end up back there. In reality, though, one practical decision after the next, I now lead a happy life far away from the mountains.
I took a day trip out to the Rockies, a few summers ago, while visiting family. Although a lot had changed, I got the same sensation when I saw them. The thiness of the air, the joy of climbing up a path, lumpy roots under my feet. The sounds, the colours. Everything about that geography felt like home, like I was built for it.
On our car ride back, I realized that I’d forgotten my sweater in one of the hiking paths. I had to laugh. I never lose sweaters. Never! I had to leave the mountains, but my lucky sweater stayed behind. I hoped no one would find it, so it would decompose and become part of the soil; it’s threads intertwined eventually with the roots and flowers. Maybe a bird would use pieces of it for her nest. These silly ideas made me smile, as I watched the familiar shapes, contrasted against bright storm clouds, growing smaller in the rear window.
In the end, I love my current home in a prairie city. This region offers its own delights: a summer swim in refreshing lake waters, the animated skies reaching from horizon to horizon, the swaying fields changing shades with the wind and light. I love my quality of life here, too, and am thankful for all it gives me. I wouldn’t want to move away, certainly not at this point in my life.
When we are on a path that is followed by choosing what feels right as life unfolds, there is a wisdom in knowing how to derive happiness from the route on which we find ourselves. Our experiences sculpt our understanding of life, and lead us down the roads we need to travel.
I spent years living near the mountains, and it fed something deep in my imagination. The geography in the mountains expressed the poetry in my spirit, and now my spirit expresses the poetry of my experiences. In the end, for me, the answer lies in the art of accepting with grace the different chapters in life, and not resenting their end.
Still, I will always love the mountains.
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ~Socrates
How about you? Is there a place that you have visited or lived in that felt like home, right from the first time you saw it? Maybe it’s a city, maybe it’s a greographical region? Dive in if you’ve any thoughts to share on this topic!