“Thank God for hometowns. And all the love that makes them go ‘round. Thank God for the county lines that welcome you back in, when you were dying to get out. Thank God for church pews. And all the faces that won’t forget you. And when you’re lost out in this crazy world, you got somewhere to go and get found.” -Thank God for Hometowns (Carrie Underwood)
I was born and raised in East Gore, Nova Scotia. When I was in high school, I was itching to get out of my small town. I thought “there’s got to be more to the world than this!” I lived in Halifax for 5 years and then in 1997 I moved to The Northwest Territories for 5 years, before ending up in Alberta. I sold my place in AB at the end of May (yes, one month ago!), and the new owner wanted possession within two weeks… So, I sold/gave away my furniture and packed everything else up and put it in storage, until I figure out my next move (figuratively and literally). I already had a trip planned to NS for the end of June, so that’s where I headed.
If you’ve ever been to the East coast, you undoubtedly noticed how friendly the people are. I’ve known this my whole life (having grown up here), but I think it took getting away to really appreciate it. It actually became crystal clear to me last fall, on a trekking trip in Nepal. Others in our group kept talking about how nice the Nepali people are. I couldn’t agree more, and I also couldn’t help but think “Isn’t that just how people are? That’s what people are like where I grew up.” When I was younger, I was surrounded by the kind of people who would do anything for you – help you move, make you meals when a family member died, lend a hand when you were building a house, give you a ride to town, and most would literally even give you the shirt off their back if you needed it.
“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.” ~Marvin Allan Williams~
This year I was invited to give a speech to the graduating class at my high school. I was completely honoured to be asked! The speech went well; I didn’t trip, stutter or cry! (and I think my message to the graduates was inspiring). In the days leading up to the graduation, there were a number of events around the community as part of the annual Summerfest celebration. I ran into so many people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and I heard from a number of them that they’ve been following my posts on Facebook and my blog. They said how much they love what I am doing and how inspiring it is. I also received a lot of positive feedback about my speech at graduation. I seriously felt so much love – from doing what I love, and that is an amazing feeling!
As I think of all the kind words, hugs, and recollections of fond memories which have come my way in the last few weeks, I know how truly blessed I am. There’s definitely something to be said for returning to where you come from – to the place where people remember your big hair and the time you wrote off your mother’s car…to the place where people just love you for you and where you always feel welcome…that place called home.
“Ciad Mile Failte” (Key-ut-me-la falchuh) – this is the official welcome of Nova Scotia. It’s Gaelic and means “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes”.