On a run out to Salisbury Greenhouse for a wee Christmas prezzie, I pulled out of the parking lot and took one look at that road and thought…I’ve spent my entire life driving up and down roads like that. Country roads like the song says “take me home to a place I belong”.
It feels (felt) strange turning the car toward the city then, in order to get home to my mother who decided she could not sustain living on the 80-acre homestead that she and my father finally called their dream home. My mom felt guilty relying on the neighbours – specifically my cousin’s husband and the farm across the highway as well as the neighbour back in the bush on the private service road they shared) to clear her long driveway, and there was no making that better. The cost of hiring someone, I can now see, would also have been prohibitive.
There is nothing worse than being an expat abroad when your parents need you. The natural order of things is to support your parents when they are in their third act.
So, on my first outing after arriving to Canada, my heart skipped a beat at the sight of that road as well as the flurries, snow on the ground and frost in the air. There comes a point where nearly every traveler who leaves ‘home’ yearns to return, needs to return, and finds comfort in knowing where ‘true north’ is, where home is. We all can’t and won’t, but the pull is real and is hardwired even worse if family remain behind.
So, even though we’ve moved my mother to the city and that is where ‘home base’ is for us now, including me when I return to Canada, I’m fortunate. In ten minutes, I can be on those open country roads. Driving up and down the hills, and I can find myself in that world again, and slip away from civilization just long enough to find peace.