Re-visiting home

I’ve just come in from an evening walk along the waterfront. One of the resident great blue herons sat on a concrete embankment, contemplating his dinner prospects in the water below.

Along the bridge I stopped to see if the red-winged blackbirds were scouting a nesting spot among the reeds. Last year the male regularly swooped down on walkers, trying to shoo them away from his young. The male who flew down tonight was so intent on a few crumbs on the railing that he walked to within a few feet of me and paid me no notice.

Further on, two turtles swam languidly, sometimes right down along the muddy bottom of the marsh, sometimes with their heads above the surface. All around them mallards and coots swam by in pairs and singles.

Piles of sand dotted the beach, ready for the parks department to spread them out in anticipation of visitors. The board walk around Waterfront Park had been repaired while I was in Australia. Fresh boards stood out among the weathered ones.

I crossed the lock and circled back around. Wind moved the spring-green leaves sprouting along the willows.

With each step I felt more fully at home. I recognized the different aromas of spring. Even the spots where the air was cooler or warmer were familiar, known. If smiles are a measure, others were feeling that same sense of belonging as they followed the pathways that wander through the marsh and along the waterfront.

Yesterday I read about a study that found that lakes and sea and forests were far more healing to our spirits than our city parks, no matter how lovely they may be. We need a touch of wildness. The lake at my doorstep offers that. So do the marsh and the nearby slopes of Knox Mountain.

I’ve lived many places but none more beautiful than this. I know I could live someplace else and, in time, would find those spots where my heart lifts, as it does here.

Though loved ones far away have carved places in my heart only they can fill, I am here now, and I am home.

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9 comments for “Re-visiting home

  1. April 22, 2012 at 8:41 am

    What lovely photos, what lovely words. Welcome home, Cathryn!

  2. April 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Thanks, Naomi. I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by beauty and yet drawn to other parts of the world as well.

  3. April 25, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Indeed. I really appreciate your post.

  4. April 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Sometimes I’m sorry not to have deep roots somewhere, but when I’m feeling at home in some other part of the world, I know I’m fortunate to be able to enjoy whatever life brings.

  5. sharon
    April 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Cathryn:
    I concur. We live in a Valley that is very healing and I can’t think of an alternative at the moment. Now that you’re back these nuggets of reality once again lift my spirts. Thanks, dear friend.

  6. emmie
    April 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

    to read you dear sis is like….seeing you to paint with your words….a never still painting…with movements …colours ….interaction…where I even can see the gostly people who already left…
    your brother and I are proud of you….we love you…!!!!!!

  7. April 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks, Sharon. I hadn’t thought of the Okanagan as healing, but the people I love here do heal those wounded places in me. We all have those wounds, and when we find people like you who rub salve on them, we are fortunate indeed.

  8. April 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I am in awe of your poetry, dear Emmie, so I hold your words in my heart and draw sustenance from them.

  9. August 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Hello Cathryn,

    I just wanted to say that I’ve really missed your blog posts. You write such fantastic stuff.

    I hope everything is ok with you and that you’re able to post again soon (assuming you still enjoy blogging. Although I’ll really miss your voice if this is a long term break! 🙂 )

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