When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home is where the heart is

I was travelling along the highway this past weekend, enjoying the sight of the trees displaying their brilliant fall hues of yellow, orange and red, when I was struck by a sudden wave of homesickness. It's funny how that works; I have considered our current city "home" for many years now, and I really love the life we've made here. Something about the changing leaves, though, always draws my heart to the home of my childhood, the place where my mom and dad and other very loved family members still live. I grew up in Northern Ontario, land of beautiful rocky landcapes, immense lakes, and bountiful trees, and the fall colours up there are magnificent and breathtaking. I think I will always be a northern girl at heart.

With Thanksgiving weekend approaching, I am reminded of the many wonderful holiday traditions I knew growing up, surrounded by so many relatives living close by. Special occasions were celebrated with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathering together to share a meal; they were noisy, happy times filled with favourite foods and great stories and lots and lots of laughter. Raising our boys in a place so far from most of our extended family means that these kinds of large holiday celebrations are rarer, and that fact saddens me. Holidays are still fun and special times for them, of course, as we follow many of our family's traditions in our home now, but I feel like something important is often missing. In a life where we have been able to provide the boys with so many things, I find it difficult to accept that they haven't known the joys of having a whole network of people who love them living near them, and being with them in all of those important growing up moments. It's a gift that has immeasurable value.

I have many, many things to be thankful for this holiday weekend, and when our little family gathers around the Thanksgiving table, I will smile, feeling blessed with the wonderful memories I have of my childhood up north, and with the chance to make new memories with our boys. Our loved ones who live far away may not be here to share the favourite foods and great stories and laughter, and I will miss them, but they will most definitely be here, as always, in my heart.

Thanks to my mom for the lovely photos of Hiawatha Park and of family gatherings in years gone by.

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