There’s something incredible about returning home after being away for a long period of time. I was recently back in Saskatchewan for the first time since relocating to Toronto. Oddly enough, I came home more frequently when I lived in New Zealand. I’m not sure why I haven’t been home. Perhaps it’s been because of my internship and job hunt. With the oftentimes haphazard scheduling of interviews, I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunities that came my way.
Regardless, it felt amazing to be back at my parents’ house in Yorkton. They’ve only lived here for the past three years, but it always feels like home. It’s the constant in my ever-changing, never stable life. It’s the place to which I return from wherever I’ve been living. As the complete antithesis of Toronto’s urbanity and chaos, Saskatchewan feels like a retreat, an escape from the everyday challenges I encounter in the Big Smoke. I always harp on about how much I love urbanity, and it’s a necessity for me at this age, but Saskatchewan has indescribable charm and vast beauty that many city dwellers will never experience.
It’s also a place where my family has lived for a number of years. Throughout my life, I was fortunate to live nearby to all four grandparents. Last week, after the passing of my paternal grandfather, I realized what a luxury it was truly getting to know my grandparents. Many of my cousins, aunties, uncles, and extended family are all located in the prairies as well. It’s serene, with vast blue skies and perpetual sunshine. Most of my childhood and teenage friends still reside in Saskatchewan, which makes for a wonderful reunion whenever I am here.
When I was completing a multimedia project for my creative writing course at The University of Auckland, I conducted an experiment comparing my two reference points (at the time): The Prairies and The North Island (of New Zealand). It was an introspective assignment that I delved into wholeheartedly. It enabled me to record my experiences with displacement. Should you be interested in reading my exegesis, I’ve attached the link here.
Saskatchewan, I do not appreciate you enough. You’re a wonderful place to call home.