My adventures have taken me on a tour of the province of Alberta (in Canada, for those of you reading outside the country) these past weeks: from the Calgary Stampede, to hiking and exploring in Kananaskis Country. Visiting the lovely town of Canmore in the Rocky Mountains, and the rather eclectic Strathmore to the east of Calgary, amid rolling acres of canola fields. North to the city of Edmonton, south east to Drumheller, south to Medicine Hat. These have been weeks of stunning natural beauty, and perhaps the putting aside of some stereotypes…
It certainly is true that many Albertans drive big trucks, and often in a parking lot I can never find my little truck upon my return, because the behemoths all around effectively hide the thing. And the Calgary Stampede certainly lives up to its reputation as a Wild West show – enough said. The skies are gloriously big here, and the thunder and lightning storms absolutely epic to watch on the prairies, as was the tornado approaching me while hiking north of Drumheller (it missed me, fortunately). One of the crowning glories was certainly watching a prairie sunrise, which turned the sky an amazing array of colours, and left me quite breathless. The variety of landscapes, the many wonderful and quirky small towns, endless miles of mostly-flat highways have made for easy and fun road tripping. Here in the oil capital of Canada, wind turbines and solar panels are numerous; perhaps most interestingly, I find this province more progressive than the one I was born in, in spite of its reputation for conservatism.
I am not really speaking in a political sense here, but more of a general impression which is vague and amorphous, to be sure. I find a love of land, something that often seems to be missing in my home place: people being attached to their urban or suburban routines with lip service to the beauty around them. It seems to me that rootedness in the land, the geography, the play of nature is one of the reconnections we must make to move out of the morass of climate change, for starters, but perhaps also reconnections we must make to root our governments, our economies, our ways of life in an ethos of place. Places for people…
For while I cannot call this place ‘home’, I can say that I feel at home, though what that means is anybody’s guess, I suppose. I think it is something I must keep exploring and discovering for myself…
And right now, my imaginary friend, I am in another province, and a secret place, where the stars shine for me and my love, together. Perhaps I must invoke that hoary cliché “home is where the heart is”, because in the arms of my love, and under any stars, feels deeply comfortable.
I’ve not been to Canada but know of people from there. I wish you well on your travels.
Thank you so much, Renee!
Ah, yes. That elusive term, ‘Home.’ I suspect those who fear losing that sense never venture far from their point of origin. But those of us who cast ourselves into the Unknown begin asking The Questions. And ultimately discover that Home may, indeed, be where the heart is. As life is meant to be Lived, no? Aloha, VL. Enjoy.
Oh, I am a home body, and I own up to a bit of fear…but yes, the joys of living out loud…! Thank you, Bela 🙂
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Howdy, VivianLea, Unless I live to be 120, My Darlin’ and I spent most of our lives finding “home” — not that we were searching, mind you. it was more a longing for a place and a people to belong to and to be at home with. May your sunrises be inspiring, the bugs be few and your sunsets be peaceful. Now git along brave cowgirl.
Always, Brent, your words make me feel at home, much as I feel at home in your presence. Thank you for your kind wishes…yes, prairie sunrises are indeed awe-inspiring, and I will be forever grateful to have watched a few. I am not a brave cowgirl – yet! But there is always room to become. I miss you, dear friend.