There’s a voice in my head that keeps informing me that I’m probably forgetting something. To this voice I can only say, who cares? I’m leaving anyway.
It was raining when I left San Diego. The cuffs of my jeans were drenched by the time I sat down for a beer in the terminal. My celebratory beer. My next great adventure lays before me, but nostalgia has a childish way of tugging at my shoulder and making me look back at it with great expectations. Did I miss something here? Was I too busy with my great problem all this time? I’m leaving anyway.
I got to Buffalo with a mild plane issue that was quickly resolved. We zipped across the border to Niagara where for years my heart had found a home. It’s different now. My pond transplant has obviously had an affect. But strands of my old life remain here.
A broken broom, three broken cameras, heaps of towels, curtains for a trailer and almost empty bottles of shampoo. My storage space was a nightmare. I tried to imagine whatever I was thinking when I kept these things. A vision of me returning to settle in Ontario came into view and I realized that was years away and likely could never happen. Oh the things I threw away that day. But I still have a storage space. At least if I return I won’t have to start completely from scratch, except I probably will have to buy towels.
A few days after my stay in Niagara I left for Thunder Bay. I thought that I would feel different. I thought that after I have sent eight boxes of my things home and filtered so much of my belongings into the garbage that there would be a much more grander feeling of anticipation into my trip home. I kept waiting for it. During the ride to the airport. At the check-in counter. At security. At the bar having a celebratory beer. And even when the boarding call came. I suppose I just don’t get that crazy excitement anymore. Pity. I miss it.
I called Thunder Bay home for 19 years before I quite eagerly left. Where my life would be had I not left is a thought I dare not ever entertain. I cannot say that the city is the same. It has changed in so many ways. It feels a little different, but still comfortable, like an old sweater or a snug bed in the winter. It’s reliable – this town. We both have a lot in common. At least where changing is considered.
There’s Christmas music everywhere. Funnily, my heart glows a little stronger each time I see a house decked out in lights and decorations. I confess – I enjoy the human spirit at this time of year. It was a good choice to come here before leaving – where it all started. Where I started. Perhaps it is as simple as returning to my roots to see how far I have really come. And how far I have yet to go. Maybe I’m not forgetting anything. But so what if I am? I’m leaving anyway. But I’ll be back.