Homebodies - I wish I could say the firsts are getting better


By Rita Friesen

My first solitary road trip in a long time. Didn’t go far, out to Carman to see family. Drove only in daylight hours. Sent quick messages to caring loved ones letting them know when I departed and when I arrived. Found myself formulating the thoughts I used to articulate, and then wondering what to do with them. Quick to spot the changes in the countryside and slow to realise there really was/is no one with whom to share these discoveries. 

Saturday afternoon, my sister and I drove to Morden. A cousin has the most amazing antique shop there. Everything from sock shapers, sad irons, Depression glass, sideboards and what nots. We spent several hours there, enjoying the hot coffee and admiring the wares. Items our grandmothers cherished, stuff our parents used and things we hoard. On our journey home, we were awed by the most magnificent sun spots we had ever observed. Not simply two reflective bars, but a near complete circle of refracted light. Shifting and shining, glowing like a night sky filled with dancing Northern Lights. 

The farmsteads are few and far between. There is one, just east of the highway, that is home to a couple of horses and a few sheep. On the bitterly cold day, they stood on the south side of the hip roofed barn. Shaggy coats and tagged wool. Their breath fogged the frigid air. A heap of feed completed the rural scene.

Family gathered around the Sunday table. Young adults that I have loved for their forever. Conversations swirled and laughter flowed. Jobs, education, dreams, thoughts and challenges. Topics entered and left, serious and silly. The free range chicken was picked to the bones and the red velvet birthday cake demolished.

Returning to my home, needing to refocus and center to become sane and safe. CBC is my usual drive listening but it wasn’t cutting it. The depth of emotion and the remembering was gaining. There was only one CD in the car and I decided to give it a try– ‘I am a Sparrow’, Alana Levandoski. Several of the songs on the recording are ones that she has composed. I listened to it all the way through. And then again, very unlike me, I listened to it again. But my heart stayed with the third song, “It Won’t Kill Me (If I Die Now)”. Again, very out of character, I hit track three, time after time, until the words were etched in my mind and on my heart. So moved am I by the lyrics and the melody, that I sent Alana a sincere thank you. I am trying to discover just why this song spoke/speaks so clearly to me, now, at this time. I woke the next morning exulting in the message.

It was a weekend of firsts. I wish I could say the firsts are getting easier. But they will. And there are always less of them as I embrace each day and venture forth from my safe haven.