Little hometown. Half my life has been spent here. 8 winters, 7 summers. It all started at my grandparents' house - the frequent visits here when we lived in Montreal. And then, spending 6 months in their house right after we moved. The next April we bought a house in town. Lived there for 5 years. Now we live here, in our great big house on the next street over.
I guess you could say I did my growing up here. (And at the same, I'm not done growing up. No, definitely not.) I've learned and lived through life, ultimately here. Every sunset that's taken my breath away, every childhood game in the woods, every fort we've ever made, every time I sat in my tree-loft from Alex in the woods. Every walk I've taken among the streets... the spring ones (cool, fresh air, puddles), the winter ones (crunchy snow and bright skies, and brisk cold that bites my face), the summer ones (sweaty and hot, unless they were the summer evenings - perfection), and the fall ones (sweet smelling air, kicking up leaves and admiring the colors.)
Every time I've cried under my blankets. Every time I sat in the pine tree at the park, thinking about life and listening to Switchfoot. Every bike ride me and Alex have taken - just around town or on the back roads. Every winter morning I've spent in this bedroom, looking out the windows and seeing a world of white. Every night by the train tracks under stars. Yes, this is a home to me.
Who's to say I'm all grown up, though? Truly, I'm not (which is happy news). But I've felt it starting for a long time now. The good news is that there will be many more nights spent in this town.
It's always freezing cold & snow from December to April. In January the temperature frequents the -30 to -40 range. February seems to be the odd month out of all of them during the year. And to think that it's the one I was born in. March is the odd transitional month, caught between cold and less-cold. April and May are our spring months (although some years we've had snow until May). June and July and August are summer for us, and sometimes even until September. End of May/June is blackflies, and then the mosquitoes come in hoards and stay until late August, when things cool down a bit. July is our heatwave month - there's always one week when everyone starts boiling of heat and crying because it's so hot that we all feel like we're going to die. Autumn is mostly October. November is our transitional month between fall and winter - no more colors. I used to never like November but now I think I've come to appreciate it. And gracefully back into winter. You've spent a whole year experiencing here.
Living here has changed me, living here has shaped me. It's part of who I am, it's shaped my dreams & plans. No matter where I go on this wide earth, this town will always be home to me.
There's a deep connection here. This is where my roots are. Northern Ontario. All the forests here, the trees, the shining lakes, the sand. The fields of grass, the rugged landscape. I love it here. I love it, I love it. And now matter how much I "wanna get out of this town" I'll always love it. I'll always come back home.
Or, like Northland Bible Camp. Part of what makes it so wonderful is that it's here. It's ten minutes away from me, the type of landscape that i'm so used to. There's forests and pine trees and the lake, and the same weather and rain patterns. It's home away from home, and no matter how much I write about it I'll always have something to say about it.
I would have never thought it would be here. When I was a little girl I was a "city kid", and I felt like you couldn't take me out. Instead I grew up (halfway grew up) here, a tiny speck-on-the-map, if-you-blink-you'll-miss-it, "you-probably-don't-know-where-it-is" kind of town. But I'm happy with here. This is where I belonged all along. God's definitely a better planner than me.
Looking at the piles of snow across the street from my window. The pine trees (always) covered in snow. Rooftops thick with it like gingerbread house. I can even see our old house. The vast blue skies. This will always be in my heart.