Upstate New York ,
nothing really spectacular up there, just trees and roads and rocks. Something happened to me as we got into upstate New York, an internal change. A settling of sorts. I felt a growing comfort. I realized that I had entered my world of “familiar”.
Now, upstate New York is not home for me. But, it looks like my home, and feels like my home and I was approaching home. My Canada, my history, my heritage. It may seem all patriotic and such, but the feeling is not a puffing out of the chest, raise the flag and honour Queen (or Prime Minister) and country. No, not even close. It’s more like a warm cup of tea, curled up on the couch in front of a fire kind of feeling. It’s . . . there’s really no other word . . . comforting.
It happens to me every time I go back to Canada. And it doesn’t matter where I am, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, although in the past, before I moved to the US, it only happened in Ontario. The closer and closer I get to home the anticipation and excitement builds. Joy bubbles from my heart and spills onto my face. Every mile will soon be a kilometer. The grass will be soft. The air will be cooler. I’ll drive on roads cut through granite rock. Maple trees, birch trees (I forgot all about birch trees till I saw one – o my), poplars and weeping willows fill the landscape in abundance. Marshlands with still, pond-like waters, lily pads and cattails waiting to be explored by canoe. People’s gardens. . . o the lushness of their gardens. Yards decorated with black-eyed Susans, phlox, marigolds – yes I know they have those in a lot of places but up there they are plentiful, rich – not scorched and begging for cool air. Even the apples are different. . . MacIntosh, Cortlands, Empires. . . those are the commons apples, not Gala, Pink Lady, and Fuji. Everything is familiar – and all is well with the world.
Then, when my feet cross over to my homeland. . . my heart finds its rest. I can breathe a sigh of relief and let everything go. I’m home. I belong here.