Homebodies - Pondering...


Rita Freisen 
The Neepawa Banner & Press

A phrase from the book on my bedside,  ‘Ride the Rising Wind, One Woman’s Journey Across Canada’, by Barbara Kingscote echoed and re-echoed in my thoughts and musings. [ I digress, but it isn’t often that a compelling book stays as long as this one has – I have been busy and busier!] This time the author is making her way across Ontario, waiting to see the prairies. She has chosen to stop at a small home, tucked in a clearing in the bush. The scent of a wood smoke smudge, the light from a window, drew her in. she ‘stepped across the threshold of my own hesitation into a lamp lit kitchen’.

Kingscote had a wide variety of welcomes in her travels. At times she would wait for dark and slip away without resting. Other times a family would welcome her and her horse, feed them well and provide for their journey. She had just cause for hesitation. My ponderings had me reflecting on the times when I have been rewarded for stepping across my hesitations. Some quick, easy. Examples came to mind. I am not overly comfortable with heights, and that is a vast understatement. One of the years that we had a family vacation in the Rocky Mountains, and the time included days at Banff. The gondola there is fantastic, but not one of my favourites. I had decided years earlier that there was no need for me to ever put myself through the ride again. And here we were, children and grandchildren all eager to ride to the top. I have been a firm believer in setting a good example for my kids, admiring the beauty of a snake as long as someone else has it, doing the tough stuff with grace. So I willingly agreed that we should all head to the top. Not fun, but the reward of the fun the family had was worth the extra effort on my part. My older children understood the depth of my sacrifice and were gentle.  Or the hours I spent in the local pool with the grandkids, me not liking being in the water at all, but the girls loving every minute. They were young adults before they understood the gift I gave them. Times when I stepped across the threshold of my hesitation and into a lamp lit kitchen.

Life goes on. More experiences have left me apprehensive about life. Well, some aspects of life. When one steps across a threshold there is no guarantee that the room is welcoming. Acquaintances may become friends, or not. But it is worth finding out. Casual conversations with strangers can be rewarding in information shared and new doors opened, or not. I want to go forward in life, stepping bravely over my hesitations and accepting whatever comes. To grow from these new experiences. To become all that I can and should be. There are times when I simply turn up the dial on courage and step forward. There are times I find that softly lit, welcoming ‘kitchen.’ May it always be so.