Raymond and I returned home to the Manse and Queensborough late this afternoon after a pleasant long weekend mostly spent in big, bustly Montreal. (Though I must note that the most important part of the weekend, and the reason we were back in Quebec, was a celebration in the Eastern Townships of the first birthday of Raymond’s grandson, Henry. At one year old, Henry is one happy, healthy little boy, and a delight to be around.)
Anyway, yes, the return home. For me it is always a pleasure to get back to the Manse after being away from it, no matter how enjoyable – vacation trips, grandson’s birthday, etc. – the reason for the absence. Today, though, it struck a particularly deep and happy chord.
It is a perfect hot, sunny summer day here in Queensborough, and as we drove up, the Manse looked its handsomest in the sunshine. But it was when I stepped inside the front door into the kitchen, sunny as always but pleasantly cooler than outside, that an almost overpowering wave of familiarity and of being right where I wanted to be swept over me. To be back on such a perfect day in the place where I grew up, where I spent some of the very happiest years of my life, and to know that it is now my place (and Raymond’s place) again, for as long as we want it to be – it was a feeling of pure quiet joy.
And this is what struck me: if everyone could be so lucky as to be able to go back to the place where they spent their childhood (that is, if their childhood was a happy one), or to the place where they were happiest in life; and if it could be on a perfect peaceful, sunny day in high summer like this one is…
Well, the world would probably be a much happier place.