We’ve been in Edson for almost a year now, and in many ways, it begins to feel like home. We love our actual physical space, our home and our yard. We are getting to know more and more neighbours and people in the community. I have women I run with, women I say hello to in the grocery store, and women I meet with for coffee occasionally. When we go away for a weekend, the drive back feels familiar and landmarks along the way tell us how far we have to go. It feels nice to walk in the back door.
But still, my heart aches for the people we left behind when we moved here. My community in Saskatoon was like a huge extended family and there are days when all I want to do is go “home” to the family, sit on the couch and drink tea.
This week, one of Sean’s colleagues from Seminary came with his family for a visit. We hadn’t seen them for a long time, and it was so nice to have people in our home who knew us, who held our babies when they were still babies. Our home felt like home, filled with family.
And then today we drove to Edmonton for a day with a woman who left Saskatoon just before we did, and moved to BC. She is someone that I connected with the first time we met, and who would periodically call me and pull me out of my introverted shell for a day at the park with our kids. She is one of my kindreds. A sister. I hadn’t seen her for almost a year, and it was like not a moment had passed (except that she now has an amazingly beautiful three month old who I got to hold and cuddle). We went to the Farmer’s Market and to MEC, to the science center. The kids (6 of them all together) played all day long, no matter what the location, not caring if we were climbing the boot testing ramp at MEC or exploring the space shuttle together. And we chatted, and drank huge coffees, and it was easy. And it was centering. And it was simple. And it was good.
I think that’s what I miss the most. The simplicity of sitting in the park with kids you know well enough that any adult present can and does help any kid. The gentleness of being with folks who honor their children’s personhood, and allow them to be who they are in that moment. The gift of being with someone you could talk with for hours, but with whom you don’t have to say a word.
So to my women, to my community in Saskatoon, …thank you. It’s just not quite home without you.