I am, above all, a prairie girl. For the better part of 30 years I have lived here in Alberta. And as much as the politics and the oil money drive me crazy, when I look out my office window, onto the city square, I am home. Alberta is one of those places where it might be -40 (which is the same in both Celsius and Fahrenheit), but the sky will be blue and the sun will be shining, and the combination of light and blue and sparkling snow will take your breath away.
If you asked me about the outdoors, I would talk about snowshoeing. I would talk about a 40km season ending race. We started at 6 am, and were home by 7pm. I would talk about walking through forest and through field. I would talk about how the topography of a large field changes, and that it is noticeably colder in the lower parts.
I would stop and remember summer. Fields of harvest wheat, yellow canola and blue skies. Grain elevators, old houses and barns, country roads that are dry and dusty. I would talk about the smells of summer, the sounds of harvesting, summer moons. I am a prairie girl. This land is wrapped up in bone and sinew - in the very marrow of my body.
For our honeymoon, Mr. Spit took me to Victoria. Taken 8 months after our marriage, things were much better, but we were still trying to amalgamate two lives and souls into one body. It was hard. We were heading to Victoria, for a honeymoon and Mr. Spit's brother's wedding.
We drove through the night, stopping in a town called Hope to sleep for a few hours. We drove on to the Ferry early in the morning, and were over the water just after sunrise.
When you ask a prairie girl about oceans, we are apt to think about wheat - wheat in a field, as far as your eye can see. We are apt to think about standing at the edge of a field, feeling tall, and watching. We are apt to remember how still a wheat field looks, until you stop and look, and you see the play of the wind on the wheat, creating waves. Prairie girls don't think of oceans as water.
There I was, on the ocean. I stood at the front of the boat, and I just stared. At the water, at the waves, at the gulls. Water, like wheat, as far as my eyes could see. I gaped. Spellbound.
Around me, people went about their way. I wanted to run through the ferry. Shouting.
This moment of wonder, it will not last forever. Catch it now. Catch it while you can.
I was serving Hot Chocolate on New Year's Eve. Yes, with the stupid hot dog questions.
The fireworks started. And these people, they were standing in line for their hot chocolate and their hot dogs. The fire works are behind them. They were not looking at fireworks. Things of wonder and beauty, and they were looking at me, wanting hot chocolate and a hot dog.
And I wanted to stop. To shout. No, look. Watch. Wonder.
It is a feeling of buoyancy that I am trying to find. I think it has to do with watching and wondering.