It’s hard to believe that just over a month has passed since I got on a plane and left Ontario behind me. How the time has passed both quickly and slowly during that time. Days pass differently out west – I swear. Maybe that’s not entirely true, but that’s certainly how it feels. There’s something about “Mountain Time” that seems to quiet the noise. That’s not to say that it doesn’t exist anymore – it’s just not as loud as it once was.
Reflecting on a month is more difficult than I expected… How do I summarize a month of entirely different experiences into just one post? We’ll see how it goes…
When I open my eyes in the morning, I have a brief moment when I occasionally forget that this is real. I expect to wake up in my small Ontario town, forgetting that we got on a plane. Imagining that this is merely a dream. The silhouette of the mountains out my apartment window reminds me that it isn’t. Outside, I can hear the soft nickering of horses – they are waiting for breakfast. The world wakes up slowly here. Quietly, nature begins to wake as the dew has coated the grass, and a light cover of mist comes up off the river. It is 6:00am, and I’m pouring my second cup of coffee. There’s something about this life that makes you get out of bed in the morning, even when you’re exhausted. When the light crawls over the mountain ridges, and brightens the valley – our workday begins while most others are still in bed. We like it better that way.
Time passes in an unexplainable way here. Every day holds a new experience, each moment to create a new memory. The foals are eager to be let outside in the mornings, impatiently waiting for their mothers to finish breakfast – they are ready to run through the light coating of morning dew on the grass. They really make the best video subjects. How often they seem to forget where they intend for their legs to be going, is not always where their legs will go. We are witnessing them experience something new in their world each day. One morning, it’s a dandelion…the next, it’s that grass is slippery when wet. We never really know with them. That’s really the best part.
BC has been all over the news lately. The rapidly increasing number of wildfires is a cause for concern. Somedays, the smoke clouds the air like a hazy mist. For several days we could no longer see the mountains across the river. The fires aren’t close to us here, but the winds each day bring in a constant reminder that that could always change. We’ve been searching for the mountains… It’s our own form of measurement. You can track the daily changes through what we can and can’t see around us through the smoke. We are some of the lucky ones. It’s just smoke.
The nights here are so clear sometimes, it’s as if the stars stretch on forever. Nothing but clear skies, and big dreams to remind you to have patience with yourself in the world. Maybe the stars really do stretch on as far as they seem….Or perhaps, I’ve just never had such an unobstructed view of the sky before. Either way, it’s breathtaking.
There are so many things to do here, and so many places to explore. It is a slow process. Sometimes, finding solid ground beneath me seems more important that new experiences… other days, I can push the limits. It’s easier to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Uncertainty is just one of those feelings that won’t ever change.
Things I’ve Learned in the First Month:
1. If you’re going hiking, bring copious amounts of water…and perhaps a younger, more excited version of yourself – with puppy like energy. Uphills of mountains are really uphill, but the view from the top is worth it.
2. You will find out who your friends are. This part will suck. You will want to stay in those feelings… Don’t. Pick yourself up, and dust yourself off. It will also be wonderful. This lesson will be full of long phone calls, late night text messages, and unfortunate time-change mishaps. The ones who love us never truly leave us – no amount of distance changes that.
3. Waiting to go grocery shopping until you are down to bare-minimums is never a good idea. Pop-tarts don’t count as dinner.
4. Open-concept closets are great, unless you have a cat. Remember that you have a cat… Find a better place to store black clothes…
5. You will learn to stand on your own. Sometimes you will feel unsteady. You will question your sanity in making such a large change. Other times, you will stand with both hands in the air in celebration. Whether it is in celebration, or uncertainty, it is all part of the process. It may be scary, but you will stand on your own. Relish in the moments that take your breath away. Take in everything the experience can give you.
6. You will be afraid. Fear is a normal feeling. Let yourself feel it. Then continue on, walk through your fear even if you stumble.
7. There is nothing more calming than a good book, a beautiful view, and a pony.
8. Continue to do what sets your soul on fire.
9. Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them. Don’t let your heart stay heavy on that thought for too long. Remember those who do. Love them more for it.
10. You will learn to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. It will be everything you needed and nothing you like feeling. Do it anyways.
11. You will miss the familiar comforts of home. You will long for the proximity of all the people who keep you grounded. They will be there always. Remind yourself to breathe.
12. Foals make adorable Instagram videos without even trying. These make excellent clips for work.
13. Making friends as an adult is weird.