I think I might have found a solution to the world’s problems.

Return to the Manse, high summer 2014

The Manse at about 4 o’clock  this afternoon, in the perfect afternoon sunshine of a hot day in high summer. It is a happy thing to come home to.

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.

2 thoughts on “I think I might have found a solution to the world’s problems.

  1. I went looking for that when we cruised through the Kawarthas on the houseboat. And it had all changed so much. Bigger cottages (homes, really) and much bigger boats. The human footprint on the lakes was enormous compared with what it was 40 years ago. So I was saddened that it wasn’t all the same, that time had marched vigorously on and everyone’s sense of entitlement (big cottages, big boats, big footprint) had expanded accordingly. My conclusion was that you can’t go home again, but I’m glad you were able to.

    • I completely hear you, Doug. I have seen the same phenomenon elsewhere. And indeed, there are more houses, and somewhat bigger and fancier houses, in the Queensborough area than there were when I was a kid here long ago. But I have to say that one of the great joys of the Queensborough area (for me, at least) is that the world has by and large not discovered it yet. A few new houses are not a big deal; the fact that so much remains lovely and unchanged is just extraordinary.

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