I remember French braids, the pink and purple shirts stamped with various sponge shapes and detailed with fabric paint from small tubes. We always rushed onto the big yellow bus in a hurry to get to the front seats – we thought that they were the most popular (little did we know). The ride began after church on a Sunday afternoon. We were all excited to be at the lake, just us best friends in charge of ourselves for the week. The landscape moved from paved straight six –lane highway to the narrow winding highway flanked by rocky piles. We peered out the window and compared the outcrops and road cuttings getting more and more excited by our destination.
Sitting at the front, we had access to up to the minute information from the adults. We knew we were close because of the rocks and lakes, but we did not know how close. There was an adult sitting across from us in the other front seat, so we asked him the typical question heard from children on a road trip: “Are we there yet?”
We got an answer that we didn’t expect. My parents would look at a map and say . . . “well, we have this far to go”, or, “it will be another 25 minutes dear”. This man simply said, “We’re here now”.
We didn’t like this answer so we kept asking him “Are we there yet?” Each time he would patiently reply with the same answer, so we sat back down calmly in our seats and continued to look out our window at the rocks and lakes looking for signs of our special lake.
As I got ready today, I had his simple words running through my mind over and over, just like on that day on the bus to camp. I can still hear the inflection in his voice . . . “We’re here now.”
I’m here now. I wake up to the sounds of drilling, digging and constructing just over the building beside mine. I’m here now. I put on my running shoes and head out into the hallway and down the elevator for a run to the lake. I’m here now. I look across the silvery waves and know that I’m not a couple of provinces away from my family, but they’re just across the way. I’m here now.
So many significant events have happened in last year. Incorporating these changes takes time. Each small moment builds on top of another to create a new home. Home is not just our small apartment. I learned this when living in Edmonton. Home is where I bring myself over and over and become present to each moment. I felt most at home atop a mound overlooking the North Saskatchewan river valley and the wide expanse. I stopped atop this spot at least two times a week for 3 years and gave thanks for another day. Through the repetition and being present, I developed a strong connection to that place.
In this new city I will continue to have patience and presence.