I am homesick. Calgary winters are cold and dry and beige. Yes, you read that right. It only rains in the spring, so during the winter everything has a dead, dry, beige tone to it. This year the winter seems particularly long, even when I know academically that it’s not all that different from last year.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. For the first 30 years of my life I’d only ever been outside of the PNW 4 times; and I’d only been away from the pacific coast twice. I’m not what you’d call a world traveller.
Being raised in the temperate rainforest bubble, as I was, meant that it never really clicked how different the rest of the continent could be. Less rain to my mind meant that maybe it only rained for 3 – 5 days a month. How bad could it be? This isn’t the desert, after all.
When I agreed to move out here, I was not prepared for the fact that there is no rain for 8-9 months of the year. Precipitation here is measured in snow and hail, not rain.
I miss the ocean. I miss the rain. I miss storms that will soak you to the bone in under a minute and that last for a week. I miss the green.
Green is a different shade here. It’s more of a bright lime green instead of a steady, rich, bluish-green that persists all year round.
A few of my fellow bloggers have recently taken part in wilderness training in order to better connect with the land around them after a move. I have been contemplating this for some time, unsure how to proceed. The nearest provincial park is over an hour away.
Calgary sits at the edge of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Since we will be here for a few more years at least, I need to find my connection to this place. My original plan was to volunteer with the NCC (Nature Conservancy of Canada), and help with whatever projects they had planned for the spring and summer.
However, my health has taken a turn for the different, and that may no longer be fully possible. We’ll have to see how it goes.
There are a lot of community activities that I would like to be more involved in, projects I would like to support. I have discovered that the UU church just down the street from me has a community garden. I think I may have to take the little one down there to get her little chubby fingers dirty. We’ll have our own gardens again this year, but I would love to help add a bit of my energy to the community’s project.
I may add links to pages and projects I support on the front page of the blog here, but I also may wait a bit on that. The site is due for a bit of a face-lift but I’m having a tough time deciding on a new look. Luckily, I like the one we have enough that it isn’t really a pressing matter.
More than anything else, I feel like I need to get out into nature as much as possible this year. The backyard and community parks are lovely, but I need more green that this city has to offer. I might even actually go out camping this year. I’m told that I really must explore Banff.
We’ve driven through on the highway a few times now, but we’ve never stopped to take in the view or explore the sights. The Rockies are a magnificent mountain range and I always love being near them.
It always seems a bit easier to donate money than it is to donate time, energy and ability (assuming one has the money to spare), but I am coming to really understand that true connection doesn’t come from the pocketbook.
Before now, it wasn’t something I thought about. I was connected to the land where I grew up because I was born there. I think that the energies of the earth are easier to connect to when we are children. They feel less foreign because we are more open and only interested in having fun.
I’ll keep you all updated on my progress. Assuming of course that spring ever comes. I have my fingers crossed that it won’t snow on Ostara again this year.
2 thoughts on “Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is”
I can SO identify! Winter is hell here and even more hellish this year because it feels neverending. None of the 3 inchesof snow here and there, but every damn day flakes in the air with 1/2″-1″or just enough coating to screw up driving. I hope you get to Banff. I envy the climate of your first 30 years.
It’s snowing again today, and the forecast says that we are in for another week long cold snap. When you know that spring won’t really come until May, it seems like winter will never end.
The goal is to save enough money to buy a house so that we can move back. It keeps me hopeful 🙂 There are things I like about Calgary, but it’s not home.