old stones

I’ve been feeling so nostalgic for home lately.

I think it’s the time of year… northern BC is just wet and cold. Here on the coast, things start sucking right around the end of August.  It starts raining on Labour Day weekend — just in time for my birthday — and doesn’t let up until around Halloween… in Stewart, that’s usually the first snowfall.

This year, we were lucky. We’ve had some sunny, warm days. My husband and I were even able to get to the beach on a couple of weekends in September AND we got sunburns (but we did not swim, oh no we didn’t. He doesn’t seem to understand that I grew up swimming in shallow, warm Ontario lakes — lakes devoid of dead salmon, for that matter — and that I want nothing to do with these glacier-fed asshole lakes nestled in the mountains, no matter how beautiful they may be.)

In contrast, Ontario is excellent right now, and is excellent every year at this time.  It’s still warm enough to be outside without a jacket or even real shoes. Fall used to be my favourite season because I had the privilege of growing up in a place where fall is picture-perfect.  It’s warm and still dazzlingly bright through September, while October is crisp… but pleasantly so.  There are still warm days, and it’s certainly still sunny, and the air smells so good — the smell of jewel-bright drying leaves, shades of carnelian, topaz, bright citrine and garnet.

Today I was googling for photos of home… that’s how sad I am right now. I’m living vicariously through the internet. And I found a random blog that gave me more than I could ever hope for — it made me feel as if I actually was home.  It’s a group of photos taken in one of my favourite places — the Beamsville Cemetery in Beamsville, Ontario.  I used to love walking up the hill on humid evenings and wandering in between the stones.  I was in love with the very oldest graves, the ones where the words are almost completely eroded away, carved into some kind of white stone — these photos capture that texture perfectly.  Have a look — these photos perfectly evoke my memories.

I just realized that since I left Ontario, I stopped loving walks.  I could romance myself for hours upon hours walking around the Niagara Region.  I’ve walked since then, of course, but it’s not the same.  I’m mourning the humid, warm nights walking around a two-hundred-year old town hearing only the wind rustling fat maple trees. Or walking down St. Paul St in St. Catharines, or watching nightly fireworks over Niagara Falls, or taking yet another carousel ride in Lakeside Park… or, another childhood favourite, walking along the Superditch. Only people who grew up in Beamsville will get that last one, but it’s as lovely for me as any picturesque day at the Falls.

I really, really miss home.

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