September 12, 2011
When my family moved from St. Albert to Morinville, I quickly set up our new house. My youngest was born seven months after the move. I remember looking out of my front window while feeding him in the middle of the night. The street was dark and comforting. The street lights casting subdued circles of light onto the sidewalks. And I remember thinking, “I have come home.”
We were happy in Morinville. Life was not to stop for us there though. Three years later, we moved to Gibbons. Only because the housing market allowed us to purchase a larger home, a better home, for the same price that we could sell our current home. Financially, it was a strategic move.
As I looked out of the kitchen window and surveyed the back yard of our new house, I remember thinking, “I have come home.” It was a comforting thought. A solid, permanent, secure thought. This was my house, this was my community, this was my home.
Then I stumbled upon a job in the literacy field. When I saw the advertisement in the local newspaper, I remember thinking, “This is the job that I’ve been led to!” I started my role as a literacy coordinator in the early months of 1999. And I slid right into it as if I had been born for the role. The position required my performing the type of tasks I love to complete. It had the variety and challenge that I need to keep interested. I knew that I “had arrived” to where I was supposed to be.
Permanence is a fickle word. It means “forever,” but not necessarily the way we think “forever” might mean. Four years later, we moved again. This time to Slave Lake. I knew this move was meant to be. As soon as we knew we were moving, I contacted the literacy coordinator in Slave Lake. I found out that she was moving out of Slave Lake and her job would become available at the same time as my family was moving in. I applied for the job and started working shortly after we moved into our new house.
As I settled into the community of Slave Lake, and explored the beautiful surroundings of the lake and forest, I remember thinking, “I have come home.” I loved my job as the literacy coordinator. I was able to grow in that position, my children grew, and my life expanded.
As disaster after crisis after disaster struck my family, I realized that Slave Lake could very well be the place I remain long into my golden years. The community took such good care of my family and I during our difficulties. People I didn’t even know stepped up to help us. We were embraced into a cloak of soft, secure love.
After seven years, I started to get restless. My gypsy soul was making noises. I was becoming dissatisfied with my job. I felt the need to move on professionally. And I was exploring other options that were competing with my role as literacy coordinator. Everything came to a clash when a wildifire burned down a significant number of houses, mine included. That propelled my children and I out of Slave Lake, put an end to my job, and created space in my life for change.
Now I am in Edmonton. I have changed direction with my career. I have left the literacy field and I am now in the healthy eating field. I’m still educating people. I’m just educating them on different topics. I know this direction is the right one for me because of the excitement I feel as I think about the possibilities.
Just as I felt when I first started in the literacy field, more than a decade ago, I now feel that I “have arrived” at where I’m supposed to be. The skills I have developed over the many years are exactly the right ones I need in this new field. The atmosphere of the farmers’ markets is what I need to heal. The rhythm of this new lifestyle resonates with the rhythm of my soul.
My son and I are renting a house from friends. It is a small house. It is a comfortable house. The neighbourhood is beautiful and close to everything that we need. It is also close to many of the things we like to do. As I look out my front window at the tree-lined street, watching the moon cast shadows on the darkened sidewalks, I think to myself, “I have come home.” Once again.