The past few weeks have been wonderful. I had the opportunity to visit the eastern provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I travelled with my family and really enjoyed spending time with them. Since we now live in two separate places, it was nice to spend more than a couple of days together.
We started our journey in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It’s a small city, nestled beside the river, and surrounded by forest. This time of year, the leaves were blazing in the full yellows, oranges, and reds of autumn. We explored the picturesque, quaint downtown core and meandered across a wooden bridge that spanned the Saint John River. After about a week in Fredericton, it was time to head for Nova Scotia. We took the ferry, landing in Nova Scotia around 5 o’clock in the evening. We drove down to the south shore, where we stayed for the next few days.
It had been more than 5 years since I had last breathed the Nova Scotia air and I missed it. Cozy, brightly painted homes gave off a warm glow as we drove past them on the road. Laundry fluttered in the breeze. We passed through small towns and hamlets, with only a gas station or auto shop to their name. The road wound back and forth around and through the small hills and valleys. We would catch glimpses of the ocean as we drove, its blue colour peeking out from the wild brush of the forest. Nova Scotia has always been the place I love the most. Its where my heart is. Being able to come home, after so long, was a very emotional experience.
We stayed with my grandparents for a few days. It was like being transported to a simpler time. They don’t own a dishwasher, so everything is hand washed. While they have a washing machine and dryer, they prefer to hang their laundry outside on the line, leaving everything with a fresh, outdoorsy smell. And sometimes a few bugs. My grandpa still chops his own firewood, so my brother and I helped him stack it in the shed, to be used during the coming winter. They have a wood burning stove in their kitchen, and we walked into the cozy scent of a wood fire several times. They work hard, but their pace of life is slow and steady. It’s a far cry from the frantic rush and panic of the city I live in. I’m envious of the simple life they lead.
We spent a couple of days at the beach and a few days at our family cottage. My brother and I would race across the sand flats, our feet pounding the ground, sending sand flying in every direction. We splashed through the tidal pools and ran enthusiastically into the ocean shallows. We ran even faster back out of the water, the frigid Atlantic freezing our feet. I spent hours walking along the shore, looking for shells and pretty rocks. We wandered though rural towns, taking in the quaint houses and wild beauty of nature, in perfect harmony with each other.
We spent a lot of time with family as well. Sharing meals with Aunts and Uncles we hadn’t see for years. But even though there was a lot of social time, there were also many opportunities for quiet. To escape on little walks, or to curl up on the couch with a book. I definitely needed the break and the time to recharge. It filled me with so much contentment and calm, to a degree that I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt connections, and beauty, and emotion deeply. I felt at home.
Where is the place you feel most at home?