I was born a Sagittarius, a fairly wobbly sign if you believe in such things. However, I like to take things to extremes. I think I have even convinced my kids that I am seriously flighty and perhaps a bit odder than I oughta be.
They base this on my constant urge to move. One of my friends sympathizes but gently points out that even moving won’t separate myself from myself. that’s true, but perhaps I can distract myself from myself.
Way back when I was married, whenever we had marital difficulties, we had to move. He was military. We moved almost every year. Am I to blame for having absorbed that lightness of feet after years of practising it? Heck, I spent my formative years in the same town in the same house. I moved in my senior year of high school, all the way across the country from Massachusetts to Washington state. Who’d a thought that would be so wonderful for me that the wanderlust would catch me up by the throat and hold me close?
All I know is that, like the woman in Joanne Harris’ book, Chocolat, whenever I feel that restless west wind, I want to move on, stay a bit apart, try new waters, explore new lands. Even if it’s just a move across the street.
I’m having difficulty this time, though. I have wild ideas of wanting to move to the Maritimes, live within sight of the ocean, breathe the salty air. It sounds lovely. But I’ve got a lovely group of friends where I am right now. I like them, love them, care about them, want to see them. I don’t know if I have the strength to move that far away, permanently, and leave them behind. Friends are precious, and becoming rarer.
I have a kindred spirit, who lives in Halifax. I adore her. I know others there that would be lovely to see. I have a nest of relatives in nearby New Brunswick that would be great to reconnect with.
But here, I have writerly friends. I have lovely cousins. I have friends from times past and from recent times. I have access to a pottery studio that I am just beginning to explore. I have volunteer responsibilities that I cherish and find valuable. I like to think they find me valuable. I can fly from here to Halifax for a mere $300 or so, or drive from here to Calgary for the cost of a numb bum and some dinosaurs.
Ottawa, despite its tendency to conservatism and bureaucracy, is a lovely city, with much natural beauty and so much to do I’ve barely touched ground as yet. I need more time to explore.
But changes are coming…..