A friend of mine sent me links to several tributes to Nova Scotia on Youtube. Now I find myself feeling a little homesick.
I was born in Nova Scotia and, with the exception of three years spent on Vancouver Island in the 70s, lived the first 30 years of my life there. For the last ten of those 30, I lived and worked in Halifax*, the city where I was born. I clung to the city, even in the face of soul-sucking layoffs and emotional beatings. I dug my heels in, refusing to give in or give up, but ultimately Halifax broke me physically, mentally, and financially.
I don’t miss Halifax.
But I was surprised to realize that I do still really miss Nova Scotia. I miss small town, country Nova Scotia. I miss the people, the rolling hills, the pervasive smell of salt air and fish along the waterfronts, the rocky shoreline littered with blue mussel shells and quartz, the tourism and tourists, the fog, the history, the lupins everywhere along the highways (“Your lupins or your life.“)
I especially miss the cold North Atlantic. (Aren’t you supposed to freeze your butt off swimming in the Summer?)
It feels wrong to not live near the ocean. My parents used to live in the country, in a house right by the ocean. It was blissful to visit them there, waking up to the ocean practically lapping at the back door, going to sleep to the sound of the groaner buoy at the mouth of the bay. Now they live in the city that tried to kill me, the city where all of my siblings live, and I find it hard to muster the enthusiasm to visit any of them there.
So goes the conflict.
* This was pre-amalgamation, when “Halifax” really meant Halifax proper, not the Halifax Regional Municipality. I don’t really know or recognize the new mega city. Mind you, I could say the same for the Ottawa metaplex, which came into being after I moved up here.