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.