Okay, I wasn’t expecting this. I’ve lived in Ottawa for the past two years and I’ve met some new friends, reconnected with some old ones, hung out with long lost cousins and never lost ones, and when the opportunity came to move to Nova Scotia, I went ahead and took it, not guessing how difficult leave-taking was going to be. After all, we’ll still be connected, by email and skype and letters and such, right? And perhaps they will come and visit me and we can catch up more then. Or I’ll pop back for visits here. Small world, right? And there’s always the internet…
Today, though, I had breakfast with one of those new friends. We sat and chatted for four hours over breakfast! Four glorious hours of “co-counseling” as it were, hearing each other and supporting each other, laughing and being serious by turns. He’s a good friend, and I’m sad to be leaving town just as I get to know him. And my other friend the historian/archivist who knows more about history than most people have forgotten. And my mad Chilean friend, with whom I’ve shared disastrous dating stories. And what about the ladies who lunch? The Erma Bombeck Writer’s group alumni? The FTN? My lovely cousins and their families? My ever-supportive and kind Tim?
I know we’ll keep in touch, having reconnected – and life is short – these people are too precious to let fall by the wayside. I am profoundly grateful to have met them, known them, loved them. But it won’t be the same as sitting across a table, sipping endless cups of coffee as topics speed up with the caffeine and slope down with the rebound. I won’t be able to see their eyes. We won’t be able to pick up a thread of conversation quite so well and wander along with it, wrapping it in our hands as we go, creating a warmth between us of bound words and feelings.
Today I am nearing the end of my “leave-taking” visits. I’m weary, and sad. I’ve doubted my decision to move at least a dozen times. Today, driving back from breakfast/lunch, I got to thinking – I could still cancel! I’d lose my month’s rent, but other than that, I could stay and resettle in and still live ensconced in the warmth of these friends. It’s tempting, so tempting.
“But still the clever north wind was not satisfied. It spoke to Vianne of towns yet to be visited, friends in need yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought…” from Chocolat by Joanne Harris
There’s a part of me that feels right in Nova Scotia, a part that doesn’t feel quite comfortable here in Ottawa. I need to go figure out this restlessness. I’ve had it in my mind for years that I want to go to NS, and my entire soul has yearned that way since a trip round Cape Breton a couple of years ago. Perhaps I still have places yet to visit, friends in need of discovery, battles yet to fight. Maybe, unlike everyone else, I’ll go live there now and retire in Ottawa later. Or perhaps I will find my heart’s ease there.
All I know right now is that leaving the wonderful people I know here is hard and tough and breaking my heart a little. But this could be a good thing. Perhaps where the cracks are, some light will shine through. Like a star.