I’m a blow-in, an outsider. I’ve never denied this and it’s been this way for some time. It never bothered me during my time in New York, or San Francisco, or Peace River, Alberta. It never bothered me back home, either, in sweet parochial Ireland, where an offbeat roll of the tongue pinpoints your place of birth with the precision of some modern measuring tool. Accents are strange and beautiful and always revealing. But I digress.
We’ve been in Ontario for going on three years now and we’re not moving anytime soon, if ever. Our nine month old is here, a smiling, happy child of Cambridge, with its leafy summer trees and its grey winter roofs. Maybe it’s this new phase in life that shifts the mindset, but lately, a sense of home, of belonging, has begun to matter. In the old sod I never had to look too far for this. It was there in the shadows of beaten-down football stands, in the easy conversation of ancient pubs. I was there in the twist of my land’s purple mountains that forever feel familiar. I found it, in other words, in people and in places that made sense to me. Read more