I’ve lived in Australia for almost 15 years now and I often get asked ‘do you miss home?’ or ‘what do you miss about Canada?’. I would think to myself for a moment each time and then declare that whilst I missed my family, I don’t really miss anything specific from home. My last 2 weeks in Canada have proved that very wrong.
My youngest son and I spent 2 glorious weeks in Brantford, Ontario with my parents and family, celebrating a big birthday with my parents. The evening we arrived, I stepped out of the mini-van and my senses were hit with the beautiful sounds of crickets and cicadas and the warm, sweet smell of an Ontario summer. Not the sounds or smells of Austalia, I realised how it instantly took me back to my childhood and to warm summer evenings 20 & 30 years ago.
As we prepared for the birthday celebration, we made numerous trips to the grocery store, where each time I gasped at the shelf and said ‘oh i remembered those’! ‘Those’ would soon find themselves in my shopping cart and I eagerly anticipated devouring them when I got home. Unfortunately, many of the foods I picked up were of the salty or sweet kind so my fitness regime when I get home will need to be stepped up a notch. Ketchup, Dill Pickle and All Dressed chips, boxes of KD, Bloody Ceasars, soft serve ice cream, date squares, bagels with cream cheese, and thankfully, to balance out the junk…many beautiful in season peaches and super sweet corn. The list is endless and what more of a reminder of home than foods and meals your parents cook.
So the more I ate, and smelled and listened, the more I realised just how many things from home I do actually miss. The music on the radio is also always a treat with sounds of Journey, Bryan Adams and The Hip emanating from the speakers down the highway. You just don’t hear this music in Australia, and as I hear it, I’m taken back to my high school days and weekends at friends cottages.
This is what ‘home’ is all about. Feeling a warmth, remembering a time from the past, that fills you with joy whilst pains you slightly to have forgotten it for so long. This is why trips home are so important and you can never forget where you come from. It makes me who I am and influences who I will still become.
In one of my last nights we sat out in the warm summer air and experienced one of those nights that will forever be etched into many Canadians minds. We farewelled the famous Canadian band, The Tragically Hip during their last concert and I’m so glad to have been here for it. I realised how united Canadians are and how proud each and every of one is, to call this big, unique place home.