Friday, September 17

Tranquil Plain and Eternal Sky

So I was off.  After living in the same province for 20 years, this nomad needed a change.  After research, conversations, emails, applications, internal meanderings, advice seeking, and drawing up my courage, I set off.  After receiving a 'yes' from the University and after saying 'yes' back, I began organizing.  My belongings, my house, my contacts, my life...of 20 years.  Off the Manitoba I went!

The hardest part was realizing how many objects I had collected over time and cheering that I was astute enough to purchase a house (that I kept) with a large crawl space for storage.  One month of planning what to leave behind, pack and roll into storage.  Then the rest of the time to pack, sell and give-away the remains.  The day of departure arrived and this mode of transportation.

 (Stuffed full with a little space left for me!)

It was going to take 8 - 9 hours to make it through Eastern Alberta, through two-thirds of Saskatchewan, and arrive in Regina, where I would spend the night with family.  The drive east is quieter and more serene that the drive west out of Calgary.  Tranquil planes versus jagged mountain ranges.  As I drove into Saskatchewan memories of childhood returned, from the three years my family had spent living there 28 years previously.

I remember the flat earth stretching out from every direction for kilometres and kilometres.  The land had not changed.

The low lying grasses with colour you could find if you looked hard enough.  The plants had not altered greatly.

And that sky.  The sky that never ends.  So large a photo could not capture its domination of the landscape.  The bowled sky was ever present.

Then there were the portions of my memory that had been lost but reloaded as I drove.  The distinct evidence that I had lived surrounded by farmers, although as I child I had not known.

Mixed with ranchers, the entire province is riddled with hints of people who live off and with the land.

The was something missing however.  Well, many things missing.  As a child the frequent drives my family and I took between Regina and Calgary was riddled with classic grain elevators.  A traditional piece of the Saskatchewan landscape that has virtually disappeared since my childhood.  Old, expensive, out-of-date buildings formerly used to hold grains brought into town by growers, waiting for a train ride to the coast.  Only a few left.

I also don't remember being allergic to the province, but as it turns out my constant stopping and running through fields turned into a sneezing, red eyed, dry throat-ed, snotty ride the rest of the way into Regina.

(Happy running through the fields of my childhood!)

(My body's reaction.)

Thus ended my rollicking, memory, photo extravaganza.  I rolled into Regina much later than I had anticipated, but the journey, oh that was the best part!

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