Thursday, 20 July 2017
When Terry and I were first together we were semi homeless and nomadic. We traveled constantly in his old ford truck up to the top and down to the bottom of British Columbia. We roamed in places like Fort St. John where we lived in my girlfriend's trailer bedroom to our first side by side rental home when we both worked at MacDonalds (I have a scar to prove that). I remember our first trip down to Clearwater, the interior of the beautiful province, one mile from the stunning Wells Gray Park. It was a little place called serenity acres that he owned. It had two cabins and creek running through it. It was stunning and I could not believe he didn't live there all year round. It was where I first saw the aurora, green and red dancing in the night sky. Where I first made love outdoors in the tall grass. Where I saw my first bear and moose and caught my first big fish. We lived out of our suitcases there for about half a year before we sold it. During this six months we married in Clearwater. I do not believe I will ever return there. It is not our/my place anymore.
We lived in a motel in mission BC for about four months while he worked everyday. I stayed there waiting for him each night learning to cook- badly. We were both so young. I wish I had really taken in the beauty of BC, the mountains, beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, parks and the winding mountainous highways we drove. He was so into nature, showing me how to just dive into a creek on the side of the road, I wouldn't do it with him, but I watched. He taught me to relove nature, I just didn't catch on until many years down the road, but it started there in the Kootneys. At the time I was too busy looking at him, focusing on our life together getting underway. It was not wasted time, I still see him driving, I have vivid memories of him laughing, us singing Me and Bobby McGee. Memories come back like the time in Kamloops the headlights died in the truck and we drove two hours without them on that moonlight night, me terrified, him laughing and reassuring me. I lived out of my mother's borrowed old hard shelled green suitcase, all my worldly possessions in that one tote. We had no children, just time together, just us. The road our home and cheesy motels to lay our tired bodies down in at days end.
Then we made the move back to Nova Scotia to settle down and raise a family. We rented six homes, one in Dartmouth and five in Lower Sackville. We conceived our babies, lost one and raised the rest in these temporary places that I never let myself get attached to. Until we bought our first home.
The one he died in, the one I sold when I could no longer cope. I wish I had coped, but I am not that strong. This was the first place that made me feel "home". Like I belonged somewhere-the home that I didn't feel homelesss in. We fell in love all over again in that house, most of our hard times behind us. Our kids left to make their own way from that house. It is hard to go back there now, even though my daughter bought it and I can see it and our beautiful magnolia tree we planted on our anniversary, the memory hangover I feel when I leave isn't worth it. Sad. Maybe that will change in time.
So today I was thinking about my week away in PEI and how it's familiar again ( like in Italy), how it is like the past somehow and I was trying to put my finger on why. It came to me as I walked by this chap on my way to work. I felt like it was normal to be there in a house with four strangers. It wasn't uncomfortable or foreign. I am homeless again. It doesn't hurt to go elsewhere, it doesn't feel sad to leave or homesick when I am gone, there is no yearning to go "home" because there is no home. It's what I miss most about being married, that sense of home. Someone there to greet you at the days end, who is waiting for you, delicious smells in the kitchen as they prepare for your arrival.
Yes it is true, despite my big lovely apartment I still consider myself "home" less. I can't settle in even after a year, I can't embrace the space. I prefer the balcony where I can view the open green space where I am not confined to walls and an empty kitchen. It's not all bad this homelessness feeling, there are aspects that are quite freeing, like connection with others out there in the world- it is a different connection than being on the couch at night snuggled with Terry watching a foreign film and discussing it's quirkiness-but a connection nonetheless. Today I am learning to find the "home" in other places; like the inside of my car on a long stretch of highway, different provinces and places in the world, friend's homes, in nature. These are my temporary home. It's not all bad. It could be worse, but I do miss that "hi honey" as I walk through the door. For now pax's hug does the trick.