Snow in September? Really? It’s easy to forget sometimes, during the few months of summer, that Canada is a country of weather surprises. But, when the snow is falling outside my window in early September and I’m trying to decide whether I want to ride my bike to the university or not, reality sinks in pretty fast. P.S. buses are warm lovely things that swallow you up and then spit you out comfortably in front of the university.
A few weeks ago, my sister Lizzy and I moved into a two bedroom apartment in Edmonton. Starting with mattresses on the floors of our empty rooms, we’ve slowly watched the house become more like a home. It’s been fun. Canadian dumpsters have been one of our most bountiful resources when it comes to setting up a home. From love-seats to mixing bowl sets, Canadian dumpsters have it all. Our time hasn’t come without it’s hiccups though. Lizzy and I have had our moments already — realising that living together as siblings won’t be a walk in the park. But it’s been a delightful adventure, arguments and all. And with a little grace, it’ll continue to keep being one.
I’ve tried on numerous occasions to sit down and write, but so far it just hasn’t come together. There are times when my mind is a mess of words and emotions, and yet I can’t find time to think or write. And then, when I finally have a moment of peace to gather my thoughts and try to write, the words are all gone. It’s hopeless. I guess sometimes with words, too many is just as bad as not enough, and there’s rarely an in-between.
Edmonton is different. In many ways the change seems pretty easy. More cars, more people, more noise — all things I’m quite used to. It’s a beautiful city with character — not real character like any town in Europe, but Canadian character.
It’s not until I drive past Red Deer that I realise how much I miss from the place that was home for two years. It’s hard not to when you can see the massive “RDC” on the red bricks of arts centre from the highway.
I miss the smallness. I miss that I knew all of the campus at the college, and that my room in residence was never more than five minutes from my class. I miss that in 15 minutes you could basically drive anywhere in the city. I miss the fact that the library actually had free tables by the windows sometimes, where I could camp out for a few hours to work on a paper or a blog. I miss the people. I miss my friends.
Sometimes I forget I’ve let roots grow. And it’s not until I leave that I find out how much it hurts to tear them from the tiny cracks they’ve begun to settle into and get used to. But I rip them up to start over again. New classrooms. New streets. New faces.
It’s not as bad as it feels. This seemingly constant upheaval helps me see the months and years that God has carried me through. Every few years God takes a plough through my life and breaks everything up. Old things get buried. New things appear. Some things stay, just differently, like stones turned over to reveal a side you hadn’t seen before. For a while everything looks unknown, churned up and empty. But then slowly new growth appears, and green begins to peek out from the upturned soil again. I realise one ending is just another beginning, and it comes with a whole new set of lessons and adventures. It helps me see how much I have to be thankful for and to be reminded that God has more for me ahead. It will be different, but it’ll be good.
So when the snow falls in September and I feel tempted to be a Scrooge, I’ll choose instead to raise an Ebenezer and remember, “Thus far the Lord has helped us,” and I can trust He’ll continue to do so. (1 Sam. 7:12)