The Best of Both Worlds

One beautiful fall afternoon, as I sat on the steps of the deck and enjoyed the sunshine and (probably) our last warm temperatures of the year, I admired the expansive views of prairie and sky before me.

I was reminded of when I first came to Saskatchewan from B.C., many years ago, to attend university in Saskatoon.  One mild fall Sunday afternoon, I jumped on my bike and rode to the outskirts of the city, climbed a small knoll, and stood looking at the far-off horizon, the prairie wind blowing in my hair and rustling the prairie grasses beside me.  I felt like a character in some great Canadian novel.  Since that day, I have always loved the vastness of the prairies, the enormous skies and the sweeping land.

While they are beautiful and even awe-inspiring to see and fun to explore, I don’t really miss the mountains of British Columbia.  I can totally relate to people born and bred here, who complain of feeling closed in when they visit B.C.  I do, however, miss trees.  I miss their smells, their sounds, the way the air feels fresher around them, the feeling of protection I have in their midst.

And it struck me, that afternoon on our deck, that – thanks to the great foresight of some Saskatchewan pioneers who planted one of the best shelter belts I have seen – now I have both.  I can sit on the front deck and enjoy the openness and drama of the prairie land and sky.  Or, if so inclined, I can merely take a short walk around to the back of the house and be instantly surrounded by trees — spruces and poplars and others.  I can even take a walk “in the woods”, and often do.

Life is good and I am blessed.

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