Photo Challenge: Frame

August 28, 2016 at 10:09 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , )

image

I went back home recently; my second home, my other home – the place where my dad and his second family lived. I don’t have the words to describe accurately what this place means to me. It’s not second, it’s not other, but it’s not quite my only home either. Can we have more than one home?

One of the places that speaks to me spiritually is the Bow River Falls and it’s been too long since I was able to sit on those shores. I miss the sight of them, the sound of them, the smell of them. Not knowing when I would return, I wanted to bring them back with me. So I recorded the sound of them and paced the parking lot looking for perfect angles (sans tourists) to capture the look and feel of them.

It took a while!

I liked the way the top two trees were growing and could see how they framed the Falls perfectly. I had to wait and wait for other photographers and tourists to get out of the frame. It took forever but I had the perfect angle from where I sat on the stone border wall. So I waited and snapped other photos.

Finally I got my shot!

It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed that the trees almost form a perfect heart.

I think I’ll print out this one and frame it. I’ll think of home every time I look at it.

Other Frame Photo Challenges here.

Plus, go here for 8 tips on enjoying your national parks.

 

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Pure Country

June 12, 2016 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Old Barn

This picture was taken one quiet Christmas Eve not too long ago. I was feeling nostalgic. This is my grandfather’s old barn. It is the only original structure left on the property my nephew now owns. My nephew never met his great-grandfather but he ended up buying his home quarter a few years ago. From generation to generation to generation the wheels turn.

Chickens

These are my nephew’s son’s chickens. At five, he is responsible for seeing them feed and selling the eggs. He will probably be a farmer just like his dad and grandfather and great-grandfathers.

As things change (bigger farms, bigger machinery) so they stay the same (chickens to feed, crops to tend to).

Chickens Running

Pure” can convey wholesomeness, something undiluted, or simplicity.

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Between

November 22, 2015 at 8:15 am (My City) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Daily Prompt: A Tale of Two Cities,

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

If I could teleport or have someone drive me, here are the two places I would choose. There is an eight to ten hours distance between the city I feel most comfortable in and the resort city that use to be a small town (I miss the small townness of it) where I spent many childhood summers with my dad and his family. In the summer I would take a bus between the two but in the winter the teleport idea would work best.

But how to divide the time: daily, weekly, monthly. It wouldn’t do to spend six months here and six months there as the climate is no better or worse depending on the seasons. Summer in the city is just as pleasing as summer in the mountains. Winter in the city is just as brisk as winter in the mountains. Spring is just as enchanting as is Fall spinning with colour.

Here is my city bursting full with Summer…

Broadway_Bridge

Here are my mountains in all their April (my birthday month) glory…

Canmore

I even enjoy the rainy, cloudy days!

Oh, but how to choose. Christmas in the city or solstice in the mountains?

And to choose to only live in these two places always. I couldn’t! I haven’t been to New York’s Broadway yet or San Francisco or the Yukon.

But if I had to choose, these are the two places that I would teleport between forever more.

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Photo Challenge: Symbol

July 12, 2015 at 10:55 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photo Challenge: Symbol

large-librarysymbol

Do you know what this symbol represents? I do. It is my home, my third place, my heart. I fear I have known this symbol since birth if they had used that signage then. I am a reader. I have been a reader forever.

I am also a huge library user. Last year, I borrowed over 400 items (books, graphic novels, CDs, DVDs) from my local library. Even if I were rich, I could never afford to buy every thing that I want to read.

I love my library. They never look askew at the variety of items I borrow. Right now, I have out 2 picture books, 1 young adult novel, a non-fiction book about Rain, a ton of mysteries, a graphic novel, a fan-girl geek guide, and the Big Gay Ice Cream book.

I love all libraries. When I travel, like to Alaska last year, I like to visit at least one library. I still regret not popping into the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh when I walked past it. I didn’t go in because I was lost and stressed. If I had gone in I would have become less stressed and (probably) less lost!

My ideal trip would be a tour of the world’s libraries. I’ve been a patron of at least half of the libraries in my province and have used one library in 3/4 of all the provinces in Canada. So, this is where I would start – visiting every library (public, private, special, university) in Canada and then moving on to the rest of the world.

I would need a list of how to translate the word library world-wide in every language possible. I tried to find such a list. I know this list exists. I saw it in a library book when I was in library school. After an hour sucked into the endless depths of the universe via Google, I cannot find the list. I wish my library was open on Sunday then I could just go find it in a book!

How long do you think this would take me? Keep in mind that my average library visit is usually two hours long. I think I might need another lifetime or two for this task.

If I start now, how long do you think it would take me to visit every library in the World? When I’m done, can I travel with the Doctor (please) to visit every past and future library also.

Sorry, no actual photo for this photo challenge. I have no car and the signage is on the road about a mile out (and I am not walking that far on this too, too hot day).

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Secret Revealed!

June 15, 2014 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I want to dramatically draw back the curtain. Something in lush purple or black velvet or a dramatic red theatre curtain. Something impressive!

I want a drum-roll. Something by Animal, perhaps.

This is big news. Momentous news!

Draw back the curtains and hit the drums!

I bought a house!

My first house. My only house. I never thought I’d be able to own a house but I got lucky with a huge down payment and a local mortgage. My payments are actually cheaper than my rent has been in the last ten years.

My Street

I turned 54 in April. I bought my first (and only) house in May. Yes, it was as quick as all that. I needed to be closer to my family and where I was just wasn’t working out for anybody. So I jumped in with both feet and my eyes wide upon.

I don’t usually do thing this quickly. I’m a plodder and a planner. It took two years from deciding to go back to school to my first university class. It took me six weeks to get and move from my last job. Most people would have done it in a month – I needed a little more time than that and coincidentally ended up paying two August rents. Not the best plan but it was what I needed!

I decided to move half-way across the province in April, looked at properties Easter weekend and made an offer the Tuesday after Easter. My offer was accepted by Thursday and two weeks later, after all the paperwork was completed, I owned a house.

I started packing the beginning of May and was moved out by the end of May. The possession date on my house was Monday, June 2nd. Thankfully I had family nearby (finally) that I could crash with. So, moved out Saturday, stored my stuff in the moving van until Monday and unloaded Monday evening. Thankfully, I had the next week to unpack and organize.

House Plan0001

I have a house. It’s a very nice house. It has character.

It’s an older house. It was built in 1952 and probably added on since then. I can see the bones and think I’ve figured out where the house was added on to. It’s a little too big for just me. it has three bedrooms – one is now a study – and a partially finished basement that I will seldom use. The basement has no furniture in it right now but it does have a cold room for all the vegetables I haven’t planted yet and all the canning I’ll probably never do!

The house is only slightly older than me and the irony is that much of it has the features I wanted when I drew the floor plan above as part of a college class in 1981! Okay, it’s not surrounded by forest or ocean and the room colours, right now, are very muted. But I can paint if I want (though I’ll probably past the point of wanting an orange and black study).

But there are lilac bushes and a deck for sitting on.

My Lilacs!

It is a writer’s house. It is my house. It sits on a well-treed street in a small city close to family. I can spoil the great-nieces and nephews. I can enjoy my sister’s dog without feeling the urge to get one of my own. I can have a cat (or two, or three – see the plans above – count the cats).

 

House Plan 01

Notice how old the plans are. Notice the typewriter on the desk. Now I have a lap top computer and a roll top desk but no cats (yet). This is the dream that keeps coming back. A place to write. Time to write. A room of my own!

House Plan 02

Notice the abundance of lilac bushes. I wait every year for the lilacs to bloom in the early Spring. They are my favourite flower and they bloom for such a short period of time every Spring. Now, I will have my own lilacs. I will not have to search every new city for glimpses of lilacs. You shall know them by their scent. This year, there is an over-abundance of lilacs. I got to see them bloom in my old place and then got to see them bloom again (I am further north now) at my new home.

My major challenge now is the outdoor space. I’ve never had to worry about outdoor space before.

OMG I have a lawn and flowerbeds and a garden space and way too many weeds. This year, I will hire out but next year (maybe) I will learn to garden though I doubt I will every love to garden. I am not an outdoor person. My eldest sister has already coveted a plant and admonished me about the weeds. She’d rather spent her time outdoors. She, like our mother, loves to garden. I am not an outdoor person. My insides, my house, my home is – after one week – organized and homey. You might think I’ve been here forever as long as you don’t examine the outside too closely.

Now that I’m all unpacked it seems like it’s real. I own a house. I have a home.

Light Border

For Fathers Day – here is a link to his birthday post that I wrote in March.

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Joy

December 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm (Meme) (, , , , , , , , )

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Joy is a full day exploring an old cemetery with or without company.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Hue

October 20, 2013 at 8:25 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This week’s photo challenge at the Daily Post is The Hue of You (cute wordplay, by the way – it made me smile).

“For this challenge, we want to keep it simple: share a photograph with a prominent color (or assortment of colors) that reveals more about you. It could be a symbolic, meaningful shade; a color that expresses how you currently feel; or a combination of colors that excites you and tells a visual story.”

I’ve always been drawn to the primary colours of yellow and blue.

From the brightness of local playground equipment….

Park Sprinkler

To the pattern on the bathroom wall at Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Pattern

To the yellow and blue house that I use to pass on my daily walk.

Here it is before it sold…

And here it is after (repainted in the same colours). Hooray, I was worried the new owners would replace the colour scheme with something different!

So, what does this say about me. That I’m still childlike (primary colours), that I’m attracted to what makes me smile (aren’t we all) and that right now, I need smiles (it’s been a bad year).

Some weeks I really don’t want to blog; you may have noticed I have participated in a lot of photography challenges this year.

So, what hue are you?

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Snapshots of My Prairie Home

June 30, 2013 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today’s blog post’s musical soundtrack is Prairie Blues by Wilf Carter (very old timey music and my mother’s favourite performer); famous for his yodeling. Nobody seems to yodel anymore, do they?

I grew up in small-town Saskatchewan when the trains use to still run through them (the tracks use to run behind the grain elevators, across the highway and across from the high school). Afternoon classes would be interrupted by the train whistle and we all would turn to gaze out the window. It was best to snag a window seat before class started so that you could see the train coming before the whistle sounded. I wonder how many others in my class were dreaming of being elsewhere or vowing that one day they would take a train or the highway out of there.

I literally took the train out of Saskatchewan when I went back to school in Montreal. Three days on the train, carrying way too much stuff, half-excited and half-scared to finally being gone. I wasn’t the only Saskatchewanion on that train – I met a young woman heading east as well who had come from one town over. We bonded on the train but never ran into each other again in the big city.

The tracks are no longer there. They keep tearing them out and replacing them with a walking trail (coast to coast). I remember walking those tracks with my friends when I was in elementary school, stepping from rail to rail, never touching dirt. We didn’t have to worry about trains running over us as the track was only inches above the prairies and there were no train bridges to play dare-devil off of.

There were other places to be the dare devil off of. I had a friend who climbed the ladder on the grain elevator all the way to the top. I was too scared of heights to even reach up to the first rung. I still have no idea how she never got caught – she did it on a sleepy Sunday (of course) but it seemed, back then, that were a thousand pairs of eyes watching us and telling us what we couldn’t do.

We liked to play at the lumber yard as well; there were long, quiet, shelves to hide in and they were cool on a hot day and smelled like sawdust but we were always quickly chased off and told horror stories of rusty nails and tetanus shots.

On really hot days we walked out of town to go and explore the dump, or pick cat-tails at the slough or if we felt really ambitious we’d walk the seven miles to the lake (usually getting a ride before we were half way there). I didn’t walk to the lake often. I don’t handle heat well; even at seven I would faint from the heat and have to go in. Maybe that’s why I turned into such a bookworm – there were always cool caves to hide in inside where I could spend hours reading.

I also liked to go just across the tracks to pet the horses – I knew I’d never have my own horse as there were too expensive to keep and we were poor.

I miss horses. I use to love just leaning against them, feeling their breath and smelling horse and sweat and grass. I love the smell of grass after the rain or just after it’s been mowed. I miss just being quiet and staring into a horse’s endless, wise eyes. What do they see?

My prairie home is endless. There are trees there older then me, older then my parents – trees my grandparents planted to block the prairie wind. I’ve always wanted to put a hammock under that weeping willow (above) and bask in the quiet, with a calm breeze blowing, to spy on the neighbours and catch up on old-time gossip, both old and new.

Who married who? Why? Whose baby is that? Who loved whom? Who married who? I want to know all the secrets.

The Prairies are endless. I always felt like I could stand at any outside corner with the town to my back and see forever – see the past, the present and the future all in one breath.

I could stand there and watch the storm come in, the clouds turning dark, lightening flashing and still make it safe back home (it I wanted to) before the rain pelted down!

I could stand there and dream under the clear night sky wishing on every falling star – wishing to be gone; wishing for the clear, crisp mountain air and the sound of the stream filling up after it had been dry all winter.

Home – so tempting, so elusive.

Where is home? When will I be home?

Maple Leaf

Happy Canada Day…

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My Father’s Gift

June 23, 2013 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It snowed the day we buried my/our father. The day we said goodbye. But we didn’t actually bury him; we haven’t buried him yet. He wants to be buried by his parents whose graves are 560 miles from where he lived & died.

I remember the first time I saw his mountains – the ones he loved, the place he chose to live out more than half of his life. I was prairie born and raised and had not been any further than the small town (less than an hour away) where my mother’s parents lived.  I hadn’t fallen in love with the city yet. Where I was was good enough.

April Flow

Then my father came back. I must have been around eleven or so but I always remember myself as thirteen – a teenager – everything changing, everything different.

I say I met my father for the first time when I was thirteen because that’s how it feels. Before that summer, there was only my mother, my two older sisters and my baby brother. This was my primary family. This was who was responsible for me and who I was responsible for. Yes, there were cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents from both sides. I suspect his parents always knew where my father was. I suspect my mother knew but he had left, he no longer had any right to us in her eyes.

I wish he had supported us. It’s the one thing I hate my nephews for – that they don’t support all their children. Yes, it’s hard (I’m hard-hearted) but I feel that if a child has your DNA you are obligated to provide money for their care.

I forgave my father many things before he died and this was the hardest to forgive him for – that he left us desolate.

But he came back. He gave me unexpected gifts.

And those mountains – the Rockies – the pictures I showed you two Sundays ago were one of the best.

I don’t think I would have sought them out myself. I was prairie born, use to wide spaces and forever views. You think the mountains would have felt confining.

River in April

I remember my first glimpse of the mountains. We were going to spend part of the summer with my father and his new family. My father drove down to pick us up and drive us back. A long trip. I did it twice this last April. Once to see him (cheery in his hospital bed) and then to go to the funeral less than three weeks later(unexpected although we had all been anticipating his death for years).

A long trip. Eight or so hours crammed in the van barely stopping – my father is a straight on driver like my younger brother (the one who didn’t grow up in my father’s house). When I drive, when I walk, I am a meander. I like stopping and stretching. I like to enjoy the trip and not just race to the destination.

We left early in the morning. Towards the end of the trip, I fell asleep. I awoke, lying down in the back seat, looking up into the mountains with Gordon Lightfoot singing “Alberta Bound” on the radio. I was still half-asleep. I was in awe. I was home. A home I never spent enough time at. A home so different from my other home and yet, there were so many similarities.

3 Sisters

At my father’s two most recent homes, I would awake and go out to gaze at the three sister mountains every morning (little, medium, big). It is perfect symmetry as there are six of us girls, three on each side of my father’s linage – eldest, middle, youngest (me) from my mother and him. Eldest, middle, youngest from my step-mother and him. And altogether – three boys. The nine of us, both family and too often strangers, break up into perfect symmetry.

I’ve been blessed with two homes and there is never enough time to spend at both. Never enough time to watch endless prairie sunsets or to gaze at the stars. Never enough time to explore quiet mountain lakes and caves. Never enough time to just sit and  be in the company of family.

All nine of us made it to the funeral and I worry that it will be the last time that we will all be together.

3 Sisters - home view

You see, the other best gift he gave me was family.

We are all both so alike and so different from each other. Still, we are all private. You may notice I don’t name people here.

But I notice these people. I miss these people. I worry about these people.

I notice that I have a nephew whose first choice of pop is Dr. Pepper as is mine.

My father is why I buy Cadbury’s Burnt Almond chocolate bars and my father’s father is why I love macaroons.

We pass on the smallest things to each other.

One sister wishes to draw as well as the other.

I wish I had my eldest step-brother’s courage.

All my brothers remind me of my father for different reasons.

We all have lucid dreams that we can remember in detail. I wonder if that is inherited or coincidental!

Before the rain fell!

Before the rain fell!

My eldest sister’s youngest son recently bought a house not far from where my father was raised up. He started to describe it to his granddad (my father) the last time he saw him. Dad said, “I remember that house. I think I dated one of the girls (there were four) who use to live there.” It’s a tiny house. I wonder how four girls and two parents could have fit. But they did. Families then, families now – we find a way to make do with what there is.

They teach me things I’ll never need to know. Like how many miles it is grid to grid, that is, that there is a set pattern to country roads (gravel roads) here; north-south roads are placed at one-mile intervals and east-west roads at two-mile intervals. I suppose this may come in handy if I ever get lost alone on a country road but I doubt it. I prefer to meander until I recognize something and can go “aha, here I am. I know where I am now.” A friend from university claimed you were never lost if you knew what province you were in and I like her reasoning on this!

I no longer have an excuse to visit those mountains and I worry that I may never return. Though, someday, I do plan to spend at least one night at the Banff Springs Hotel even though I wish I could travel back in time to stay at it when it was first born.

As I write this, rains devastates my mountains and the hitch in my youngest sister’s voice as she narrates video of the disaster brings tears to my eyes. This is her home and it is under threat. I wish for the rain to stop.

Home. Where is home? What is home?

Why does it seems the older I get the less I know.

Butterfly Border

A father is a complicated thing. (Emma Brockes/She Left Me the Gun:my mother’s life before me. Toronto: Penguin Press, 2013)

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Home: 13 Meditations

June 2, 2013 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“Home is where one starts from.” (T. S. Eliot)

I was born overseas; my dad was stationed in Germany with the Canadian Air Force. I do not remember this first home. I was not even one year old when we came back. My mother says it was an apartment and the landlady lived next door. There were a lot of steps – she mentions how hard it was too herd three small girls (all under five) outside every day. The Pram (how very European) was kept by the front door. I vaguely remember seeing a pram somewhere in my childhood travels between my parent’s houses. It sounds very different from anywhere else I’ve ever lived except perhaps Montreal – which is also, in some parts, very European.

“When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but the childhood.” (Sam Ewing)

I spent the next thirteen years running wild throughout my small town. My friends and I had the run of main street, went to the playground unsupervised, and occasionally, hitched-hiked the ten miles or so to the lake. The lake my grandparents lived on was closer to their house (it was only about a city block out of town) so I spent more of my childhood there unsupervised. Well, not really unsupervised just not directly supervised. It was a village – everybody kept on eye on each others’ children and everybody was always free to scold us, repair a boo-boo or send us home. It was a wonderful, free childhood and I mourn its passing not just for me but because I know that my great nieces/nephews will probably never know that kind of freedom. Yes, I’m all for a free-range childhood!

“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” (Gaston Bachelard)

I spent a lot of my childhood day-dreaming. I was a reader. I lived next door to the library. I got to take out six books at a time. I felt rich. My first books were fairy tales populated by princesses, dragons, unicorns, ogres and witches. We weren’t allowed to sit inside in front of the television (why bother – there were only two channels and very little children’s programming). We had a front porch and along the back shelves were the high heels that my mother no longer wore. We wore them out pretending to be ladies and all grown-up. Inside the house (small as it was), I had two favourite places (under my mom’s bed and at the back of my sister’s closet) to hide, read and day-dream in. I felt sheltered, protected, and peaceful there at home.

“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.” (Lauren Myracle)

I was different from my sisters and my cousins. My family tolerated my bookish ways. I was not athletic. I never could never do the shoot the duck move in figure skating. I was not musical. I had one lesson – the teacher said it was hopeless and a waste of money for me to continue on with piano lessons. I can kinda swim. It took me until I was eleven to pass beginner swimming (that’s a story in itself). I was different. I created my own world. They knew (and tolerated) me and my eccentricities.

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” (Christian Morgenstern)

I was understood. I was home. I was blessed. (Which was very good – because the outside world could be cold and dark and scary). They didn’t always like me but they always understood!

“Home was not the place where you were born but the place you created yourself, where you did not need to explain, where you finally became what you were.” (Dermot Bolger – The Journey Home )

There was freedom there. The freedom to explore and read and dream. It was there I became resilient. It was there I learned who I was. It was there that I saw myself as myself and saw myself as they saw me. I was a reader. I was a dreamer. I was a quiet child. I was perfect just the way I was.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” (Edith Sitwell)

I am a cold weather child. I do not tolerate heat well. There are tales of me fainting from the heat at age seven. Give me a book, a blankie, a warm beverage and a sturdy chair then I am comfortable. I am home. Summer never feels like home. Spring is the dreaded precursor to Summer. Fall is the best – cool nights, brilliant sunsets, heavenly full moons and the occasional welcome blast of heat.

“Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.” (Shauna Niequist – Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)

I have many homes. I have my sisters’ homes. I have my stepmother’s home. I can fall asleep there as my two younger half-sisters knit and I dream. I can read in the house while my eldest sister gardens. I know where my step-mother keeps the everyday glasses. Their pets know me. My family is my home team and I hope that I am theirs.

Art Done by Family

Art Done by Family

“It was good to walk into a library again; it smelled like home.” (Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian)

I can walk into any library in the world and instantly feel at home. Decades ago, on our honeymoon trip, my ex and I explored libraries together. There is something about a library that says to me, “come in, you are welcome here. You are home!” I regret that when I was in Scotland I ignored the chance to pop into their National Library (I was physically thisclose to it but I was lost and sun-sick and tired and longing for a cool bath and a quiet room. I forgot where home was!). Home is an immense bibliotheque.

“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.” (William Faulkner)

Not often enough. I am a home-body. Travel scares me. The unknown scares me. I like to meander into a place and stay until it feels like home. Rain feels like home. I love a good thunderstorm. No, I love being inside, safe and warm, during a thunderstorm. It feels likes home.

“ And then I laugh, because it’s so ridiculous and so gorgeous and it’s all I an do to not melt into a fit of giggles. So what if I’m ninety-three? So what if I’m ancient and cranky and my body’s a wreck? If they’re willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn’t I run away with the circus? It’s like Charlie told the cop. For this old man, this IS home.” (Sara Gruen – Water For Elephants)

I am learning how to be home in my body. I’ve spent decades in my mind and only paying attention to my body when it yells at me. The older I get the more I realize that it is important to love your body and to treat it like the blessed home it is. I hope to be spry enough to run away with the circus or to a mountain cave when I am ninety-five.

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
(Beryl Markham – West with the Night)

Leaving home is like peeling of a band-aid – it is best to do it quick and clean. I leave quickly but I plan my leave-taking for months, years, decades. I knew at thirteen that I wasn’t staying in that small town forever. I knew at twenty-five that it was time to stop living in basement apartments. I knew at thirty that I had to try a big city at least once and so I planned and I left and somehow (ironically) I also keep coming back. I go from yearning for large to yearning for small.

“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” (L. Frank Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

As Dorothy so famously said – there’s no place like home. The hardest part is defining where home is and getting there!

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” (Robert Frost)

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