Having lived in a lot of Provinces in Canada and in the Northwest Territories for three years, it was then en I really found myself longing for the gentle pastoral land of Nova Scotia and the expanse of the ocean. I longed for the smell of sea salt, for trees. I missed my family and friends and the Nova Scotia lifestyle.
I arrived in Yellowknife N.W.T. on April 28th, in early 80s and on the last day before the ice road closed. I was afraid I might end up at the bottom of the MacKenzie River, because the ice road was so melted. I wondered what my poor mother was going to think if I perished at the bottom of the MacKenzie River, as I said my Hail Marys. The bus driver got off the bus, took all the luggage out of the lower compartment and put it where we, the four passengers were sitting.The situation was serious but some how we got to the other side on solid ground.
We were 24 hours late because the old Greyhound bus broke down with a malfunctioned relay coil, which meant no heat, no lights, no phone and no go. After the bus was repaired, we were once again mobile, but I was not impressed. and when it snowed on my Birthday June 4th, I'd seriously wondered what the hell I'd got myself in to.
In spite of the extremes, I eventually adjusted, to the North, got to appreciate and even love it in many ways, and I'm grateful I didn't miss the experience, but it wasn't home to me. The pull of the Atlantic ocean, the beautiful Nova Scotia sod, my family and friends, I couldn't ignore any longer. So after three years I made the trek back home, and have been here ever since, eventually buying my little piece of paradise next to the river, and I've never regretted it for a minute. I live in a very close knit, spectacular community where people care about and help their neighbours and fellow citizens.
There is an increase in the number of folks that have left over the years, and are now returning to the Maritimes for a myriad of reasons. Many have lost employment due to the glut in the oil market, or the fires in Fort Murray. Some just want and need to return for some of the same reasons I came back.
But no matter where Maritimers go, I believe there is always the strong pull to return to the place they call home. The ties to family, to the sea and land are strong and binding. These ties make up much of our identity.
Atlantic Voice broadcast an episode called "The Come Home From Aways" about folks who'd left Nova Scotia and have returned. What is so encouraging is how these individuals are celebrating the quality of a rich rural lifestyle in the Maritimes. They are also creating employment and are contributing to our economy with their vibrant and successful entrepreneurial businesses.
I was especially thrilled to hear Sarah and Andrew the owners of our local first class restaurant, that draws people from all over the globe, the Wild Caraway, which is in here in our community in Advocate Harbour, It's very inspiring to hear these success stories and makes you feel proud really hopeful about our future.