saudade

July 19, 2017

It’s the reality of living your life away from the place you grew up that your heart is always tinged with longing. It’s what the Portuguese call saudade. Toronto is my home –– it’s where my husband and children are. It’s my everyday; where the bread, the laundry detergent and the hours of operation are all so familiar. It’s where I stop to talk to neighbours on the side of the street and where I walk miles and miles knowing I’m never far from the Annex. But it’s at this time of year, that I imagine my head under water in the Aegean Sea. The water is so cold that it’s impossible not to feel utterly invigorated in it. The wind carries a beautiful scent laced with Oleander, marjoram, sage and thyme. If I close my eyes, I can smell it. And I can feel the warmth and dryness of the heat. This year, we’ve decided to explore our city, province and country by car. Already, we’ve discovered new places, and experienced old ones in a new light. I love the scent of burning wood and citronella, and the feeling of cold, dirt under my feet. And I love the sight of endless fields speckled with lone barns, white pines and sugar maples. My heart isn’t stirred in that unique way that hearts are when we experience a sensory dance with our childhood. Sea salt and Oleander are in my DNA. Who knows, maybe our children will feel that way about campfire and cedar? Or maybe, it will be a weird, wonderful amalgam of it all.

 

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