I’m sitting on a picnic bench in Water Valley Campground. I take a deep breath, the scent of pine (or spruce or fir) fills my nasal passages, conjuring up happy feelings and sending me on a journey to so many places in my memories.
Mount Gambier, Australia in 1990. After almost three months of tropics and desert, a hike into the pine trees at the top of a mountain transported a homesick young woman to the Rockies for an afternoon. And now, thirty years later, the same scent in a campground in Water Valley returns her to Mount Gambier.
And a plethora of hiking, skiing, and horseback adventures since moving to southern Alberta in the mid-80s.
I’ll be the first to admit that of the 19,000-plus sunrises in my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a relatively small number. You see, even though sunrise is a magical event, it comes at a rather inconvenient time of day. Back in my 9 to 5 career days, I was likely driving to work, at the gym, or already in the office at sunrise. In summer, when the sun comes up hyper-early in Canada, I’m probably still sleeping when the sun makes its appearance. I love a sunrise, but I’m not a true sunrise junkie.
Merriam-Webster says that home is, quite simply, “one’s place of residence”. But, it also says that it is “a place of origin” or “a familiar or usual setting”. By these definitions, we each have more than one home. For me, there’s the place I reside, 20 acres on the Alberta prairie, and there’s the place I come from, the Peace Country of northeastern British Columbia. The third definition, “a familiar or usual setting” opens the door pretty wide.
It’s snowing this morning. If it’s snowing where you are, you might be saying, “Yuck!” If you’re somewhere else where it isn’t snowing it might be, “Sucks being you.” My question is, “Why does snow suck?” It’s bright, it’s clean, so not really “yucky” at all. Okay, it comes with colder weather but why is that so bad? I have sweaters, many of them, and nice ones. If it didn’t get cold I wouldn’t have a chance to wear them.