I found home.

[hom] noun

a gathering place for family to join together in laughter. the one place you will always be surrounded by those who love you. a place or feeling of belonging.

I just returned from a road trip traipsing across the prairies with multiple stops in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It was rejuvenating. It was gratifying. It was exactly what I needed.

Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about where I am at. Not just in life but geographically. I love where I live but I am fortunate to be at a place in my life where I have flexibility. It is never as easy as just picking up and putting down but there are always options if you want to look for them.

And so I decided to go on a road trip. My family is mostly in Saskatchewan and I was due for a good long post-pandemic visit. Plus my wonderfully young dad just turned 80. So what better reason to pack up the car and hit the road.

And hit the road I did. Stopping in old stomping grounds in Alberta. Reconnecting with friends who I have missed terribly. Seeing changes in a city I spent almost 20 years in and yet feeling like I never really left.

Then through the fields along the straight and flat Saskatchewan highways. The beautiful skies and gold canola keeping me company the whole way. Passing through little towns I have long forgotten about.

Spending time hiking, kayaking, boating, climbing (yes.. Saskatchewan has a hill), camping, and of course a little pool side chilling. And through each stop and each adventure, I took notice. I didn’t just look. I absorbed. I felt the sun. I felt the wind. I felt the heat and the chill. And of course… I felt a few mosquitos.

For years I have been so in love with the Okanagan that I never thought there was anyplace else to be. I became an Okanagan snob. Truly. I am an outdoor person so it is an obvious place for me. And I do still love it. I love every mountain, every lake, every ridiculously large spider that crawls near me.

But the past two weeks something unexpected happened. I fell in love with the prairies all over again. My snobby attitude took a hike and allowed me to see everything with an open mind. An open heart.

It caused me to really stop and think. I still don’t know where I want to be or when. My five year plan is and likely always will be unknown. No one can predict that far ahead. But I realized that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where I am or where I go. I will find something to love. I will find beauty and peace and adventure. I will because I look for it and that is who I am.

And I did look for it. And here’s the biggest and most important take away… it doesn’t matter where because the surroundings are only a small part of the beauty that encompass us. Because the most beautiful thing of all that surrounds us is the people we are with. It is most striking in the smile of your mother. The arms of your father. The stories of your siblings. The laughter of your friends.

It doesn’t matter where you are standing. It only matters who you are standing there with. Home is not about where. It is about who.

For me, it doesn’t matter where I chose to go or where I will be in 5 years. Home is in a person, not a place. And I am so lucky to have so many homes.

Thank you to my many homes. You are my beautiful.


2 thoughts on “I found home.

  1. So true and well said! I have always loved every place we have lived and it had nothing to do with the place or the building (aka – home) I lived in. It was always about the people, the community, the chosen families you found along the way. So glad you enjoyed your visit. We missed you! I’m looking forward to my visit there and seeing your “beautiful home”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great homecoming story Shelley! I think there is a grouding that people possess who grew up on the rural prairies.Maybe it’s as simple as “what you see is what you get”. ( No pretentiousness) Mostly, I think it is the wonderful family you grew up in. You had a great foundation to create your positive attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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