Today I took my first mini-hike since I got back. I was surprised how strong I felt. I still have some knee issues on the downhill but nothing serious. but given how I was feeling, I think I’m done with jet lag.
And we got lucky with the weather – no rain, shafts of sunlight now and then which was beautiful on the green moss. And it started raining about an hour ago – after the hike and even after my nap!
It was also rather lovely running into Nicky. And of course the first question everyone asks: how was it?
Answer: wonderful and epic and fabulous and beautiful!
Second question: Are you glad to be home?
Answer: not really.
That requires some explanation. I am so very, very glad to be back with Simon – to be back with the puppies (who adored their hike – especially Shanara) but I am not glad to be back in the Kootenays. And it’s a relief to be totally honest about that – to stop equivocating.
I realized this for certain while I was away but especially when I came back – the Kootenays are not for me. They are not my home. After two years here, they still feel like an alien landscape – a place I don’t belong.
I think I’ve put in a good effort at making it work. I’ve hiked everything, I’ve skied and snowshoed and gotten out. But I no longer want to put in the effort at making it work. It’s an uphill battle and I’m tired of it. I also understand that you can’t go back – in my case really not. I lived in a place I loved for many years. That is not to say that I loved Vancouver Island. I loved my little place on the farm and I’d created a life there that worked for me. I had my issues with the island: the ferry system for one. But it really worked for me. And I had the climate and the mountains and the freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted, even in the winter.
Now VI is out of reach financially. It’s going the way of the Lower Mainland – and fast. And so what I want is a place to come home to that feels good – that feels right. I’m surprised by how important place is. But here’s what I know: whenever I left the island (to visit my brother in Ontario shall we say) and came back, it was always with a sigh of pleasure.
This time, getting on the plane from Vancouver to Castlegar felt wrong – I looked longingly at the gates that were sending planes west instead of east. That said, knowing I was coming home to Simon was a huge joy. It felt so very good.
The question now is, where can Simon and I be happy together? Where is there a place that feels good and right for both of us – a location in space that we want to call home. Where is there a place where we can grow things, have room to roam and feel free, where we can both have what we need to be happy?