I was fortunate to be away with some dear friends and their children for a week last week. North Carolina was looking good, flowers and trees out, etc.
Living in Grand Marais, I find being away from here odd: traffic, shoppping malls, passing people who I don't know--these are some things that surprise me.
But there are things I miss. Of course the big lake and light over the big lake is one.
Another is the sense of space, of vast tracts of forest and of lake that are empty, that simply ARE, without needing someone to look at them, check on them, monitor their progress.
I noticed that the night sky seemed strange--though it was clear there was so much ambient light that I could hardly see stars. I lost as I sometimes do, my sense of the phase of the moon.
The easy access to wild rivers is another thing. We went to a fine state park, but I realize I've gotten used to wild parks with roaring rivers.
What an amazing thing to be able to get to these places
in just a few minutes: I'm reminded that I want to keep up those daily hikes!
Finally, the slow process of watching spring emerge. To fly to another climate plunked me into spring/summer, which was a treat. But what deep joy in watching that emergence day by day, as familiar mosses, ferns, flowers begin to show up.
In many ways I think these differences in some way epitomize what it is to live in the great north--the slow process of spring, the paying attention to sky and plant, the joy of space, light, water.
It feels as if the deep silence of the north has sunk into my soul and lives there, bringing me peace and perspective as well as gratitude.
I guess that means I am at home.