Holiday at Home

Traveling: it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller.

Ibn Battuta

Not Greece

Every summer for the last fifteen years I travel to Greece. It’s the Motherland and I go for a few reasons. It’s hot and beautiful. I’m guaranteed sunshine every day. My extended family is there. Friends say I’m so lucky. I am! I’m lucky my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins live there and not in a local prairie town. It’s my best excuse to get there.

Here instead

So this year due to circumstances beyond my control I did not go to Greece. I am here on the prairie and I am grabbing my good attitude with both hands, fists clenched onto the sunshine, adventure and gorgeous moodiness of those living skies.

Differences

There are some very obvious differences between these two lands. The weather is one. Our temperature highs are their lows, which is crazy. The other difference is the never ending blue waters of the Aegean Sea and the general ethnic flavor of the culture with their relaxed way of being.

Acceptance

I cannot change the weather. I cannot rally a group of people together from outside of this place and I cannot change the land masses of the world. But what I can do is accept what’s going on right now and really take in what is happening in my present environment.

Beauty

So, Saskatchewan doesn’t have the blue, blue sea but it has gleaming, intense, yellow canola fields and when the wind blows the blossoms roll—just like waves but in a sort of agreeable silence. And they change direction, stems swaying comfortably against each other. Sometimes you see a deer standing in that field of yellow staring at you. But mostly that epic blue, solid wall of sky bumped up against each field does the same thing to me that the sea does. It reminds me how small I am in the bigness of the world. It’s the most striking contrast.

With inconsistent weather also come the wild impasto clouds, smeared thick against the sky. Not just white but layered with color. These clouds look like a hand full of something but they are a hand full of nothing. Just a visual gift decorating the horizon.

And if you get lucky enough to find yourself away from light pollution look up. I did this weekend at Douglas Park Provincial Campground at Diefenbaker Lake. The stars were so many. The sky was so full and layered with bright and dim pin pricks. And every time I looked up I was blown away by the immense bigness of what is out there. Then I looked north and I saw Neowise. It sat between two tall evergreens at the edge of the camp ground road. It didn’t move and I didn’t either. We were both standing still. Time was standing still. No other campers were around. And this pretty and strange streak felt magical and I felt lucky.

I am not sitting in a position of mourning my lack of travel abroad but really digging deep in finding the right now pleasures of here. I’m filling my bathing suit with sand as often as possible, finding the edges of water of lakes near by, walking slowly in the warm air and letting my self sweat in the heat of day and campfires of night alone and with friends.

I do this in Greece. Yes. But perhaps there is a different flavor going in here. And, in the differences is my want to take in my fullest experience completely, right where I stand, without mourning my holiday across the ocean but really living in my holiday here in the prairie sunshine—or the local lake.

*Photo credit for the image of Neowise at the top goes to Michael St. Laurent. Thank you for capturing this incredible moment.

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