Homebodies - I wandered today…


By Rita Friesen

Neepawa Banner & Press

Without ever leaving the comfort of my home, I wandered. A slow, meandering journey through the past, touching on the present and contemplating the future.

The past is a pleasant journey. Not that all of my past has been pleasant – I would not be who I am today if it had been. The mistakes were opportunities for learning and growth, some deep scars bear witness, and growth continues. My wanderings included time with school chums. Now that word alone dates me! I have kept casual connections with one or two of the original class of ten. And marvel at those who have close friendships today with classmates from grade one. Forever friends. School was a safe place for me, average scholastically, good at sports and thriving on communication. It is easy to retrace travels. It would be challenging to choose a favourite destination. Iceland for the spa and the vistas. France for Paris- the Eiffel Tower, the river walks, the food and my sisters. Great Britain- the moors caused me to stand and weep. Hadrian’s wall, my father and my sister. Australia- kangaroos in the paddocks, unique vegetation and animals and my sister. Thailand, the lush growth, the vibrant colours, exotic foods and customs and my sisters. Moscow, the Kremlin, St. Petersburg, opera, ballet and my sisters.  Scotland and Poland, a bit of heaven and hell and the closest to a forever friend that I have. Travel and family are huge parts of my memories. The past covers the antics of the grandchildren, the blessings of their presence and energy.

The present is mighty fine. As a youth, I wanted to be a parent – I have always wanted to have children, many children. My yearbook stated that I wanted thirteen, and with all the extra children I have loved, there are thirteen. My life is full with the love and activities of children, grandchildren and great grands. I wanted to be a teacher. Got in one year of permit teaching and then switched to parenting. And now, most Sundays I get to share my insights and inspiration with a congregation somewhere. My friends contribute to my well being, stimulating thoughts and creativity. Challenging me to grow, adapt and learn. Each day is filled with a purpose. There is nothing more satisfying for me.

The future. This past week, I have said more than once- I am glad that I am old. I look around this world, the politics and political leaders and wonder what the world will be like for the generations yet to come. I fear that if change does not come and soon, it will be too late to maintain the variety of flora and fauna with which this earth is blessed. The reality is that the climate is changing. We have come to an understanding that there is no more land being created. That which we have is all that there is. The cost of land, land that is best used for agriculture, is swallowed up by cities. Land best used for pasture is being cleared for the growing of grains. Trees are being bulldozed by the section, leaving the soil open and vulnerable.

The past is more comfortable.