How blessed is my life. And how strange. Here I again find myself living in the small town where I was once a teenager pedaling about on Mr. Buntwell (my vintage tricycle)—only now I am married, pushing my six-month-old baby in a stroller. We’ve wandered down every street by this point, Rosé and I, searching for hidden treasure (quaint houses for sale, or a grotto amid evergreen). She likes to ride leaning forward, clutching the tray, ready to take on the world.
Me? I am content to not take on the world. As I lie in bed at night and listen to the train’s melancholy wail, or as I pick sweet apples from a small but fecund orchard and collect them in the stroller’s basket, I know I would not mind raising our family here.
Yesterday, as I drove home from the neighboring town, my baby sleeping in the back, I beheld the misty countryside, quiet in my soul. I fell in love with the snow frosting the still-green grass and the stubborn auburn leaves. Could have been a heath in the loneliest reaches of England, here where the ducks reign hearty and happy in their icy ponds, tucked between furrowed hills.
I look north and know I could get lost in uncharted wilderness, if I wanted. I do love that about Canada’s mainland, but especially about the Saskatchewan north, where the tamed farmland gives way to dense forest and uncountable lakes upon which loons cry. This province is more beautiful than many people realize, including myself not long ago.
Having opened my wings and flown east, where I built my own nest, but am now back to build a new one, I see Saskatchewan from a different perspective. Yes, I truly see the sky now. I appreciate every swell and dip in the horizon. As the wind moves like the Spirit across uncluttered fields, I smell the earth growing. I can breathe.
And so I am content to leave migration to the Canadian geese and embrace this old, but new, place.