I have been home a week now, and have settled back into my normal routine. I have picked up the reins of my life, clicked my tongue and hollered "Giddyap!" and off I go. I am so glad to be back home with my own family, to be in my own home and sleep in my own bed. But it wasn't easy to leave Alberta and the people there that I love.
With such a big family, there are a lot of good-byes. Thankfully, the internet has made the world smaller, and even in an enormous country like Canada, my brothers and sisters are as close as my computer. Ah, but Mom and Dad are a different story. A phone hug is not the same as a real hug.
Thankfully, my flight was early in the day. My sister Judy picked me up for the short drive to the airport, and with a few tears and plenty of hugs, we left my parents' home, loaded down with much more luggage than what I came with. Judy and I marvelled over the thick ice fog, an unusual atmospheric condition in this part of the world. It was very beautiful, and with a little time to spare, I was eager to try a few photos.
I was hoping to get a good shot of the oil pump that I knew was near the highway. I had managed a shot of a grain elevator, and the oil pump is the other great icon of my home province. Alas, the fog was so thick, I couldn't see the pump from the highway, and had to leave it for next time.
We drove slowly through the muffling cloak of white, with visibility only about fifteen or twenty yards. A pair of horses grazed unconcerned, pawing through the snow to the grass below. Ice rimed everything, turning ordinary things into crystal beauty. Judy, being a good sport, was happy to stop for me to capture the ethereal images.
The fog opened before us and closed behind. I pondered the metaphor. I wanted to be able to look ahead, to reassure myself that my parents would continue to be healthy and safe, to see my own life, home and family in order and progressing as I would like, that my siblings would continue to be happy and prosperous. I wanted to look back and see if I had made all the right choices, if I had really done my best by my family, my parents and myself. But the fog is thick, and no one can really see very far. They can only guess at the general shape of things, and do their best to choose the right thing at the right time.
Leaving Alberta made me a little sad, especially knowing that we would not be able to afford another trip for quite some time. My flight was delayed because of the fog, and I had plenty of time to sit and look out the window, consciously turning my thoughts from the sadness of leaving to the joy of returning. I missed my husband so much; his solid presence in my life is like a rock no matter where I am, and I longed for the comfort of his strong arms around me. I would be very glad to be back home soon.
Toronto was clear and beautiful from the air. We banked over the city, and the lights were laid out below us like a carpet of jewels. I was eager to land so I could get the drive back to Niagara out of the way and run into the arms of my waiting family. It was clear and cold, all the snow melted away from a recent rain. I looked out the window of the car at the landscape rushing by, just as the years rush by, and I am glad of my sanctuary at home, where there is peace and stability.