Friday, July 26, 2013

Au Revoir

 (I wrote this in May but didn't post it. Life became hectic!)


I haven't been writing because I've been sad. And busy. My husband's assignment here in Calgary ended abruptly and we're being sent back to the states. The snow is (mostly) gone, there are buds on the trees and it's once again a life-affirming act to walk along the river.

And we have to leave. I can't tell you in one blog post what living here has meant to us. We love the urban life style: walking everywhere, living close to work, church and friends. Calgary is built for exactly that. When the weather's bad, you just jump into the Plus-15 (the enclosed walkways that snake throughout downtown) where all the action is anyway. On Friday nights, we meet whatever friends are available for dinner and never have to worry about having a second glass of wine. Our home is a short walk away.

I've gotten into the habit of looking up towards the sky for the Calgary Tower when I'm walking in the city. I have no idea why it makes me smile to see it there. I guess it's comforting to see it rising up like the moon, leading me in the right direction.

My husband and I moved here without the kids. Both of our boys had lives of their own by the time our transfer to Calgary was offered. In fact, we left the dog behind, too. For the first time in a very long time, we found ourselves the only two warm bodies moving through the space we lived in. We developed new routines that involved just the two of us. We took off on weekends and stayed in hotels. We made each other laugh. Calgary has been good for us.

I don't want to go. I like our routines. I like this city. I like knowing our favorite waitress by name and all of the shortcuts through the Plus 15. I love that I can see the mountains from my balcony.

Calgary will barely notice when I’m gone. I was just another magpie soaring through her air. But as I moved through the city, I breathed in her cold crispness in winter and the scent of flowers in the spring. She became a part of me and I’ll never, ever forget her.


Mary Ann said...

It must be sad to leave such a beautiful place and carefree lifestyle. For some reason I more easily imagined you a Canadian than a Texan! But you are extremely lucky because your life is so much richer for having had that experience. There's no doubt you made the most of your short time there!

Barbara said...

I'm so glad you got to spend the time you did in Calgary. Sounds like it was great experience, making it even tougher to leave. I'm sure you'll find something good in the next leg of your journey through life.

caryl said...

Yes, you're both right. Mary Ann, maybe that's why I liked it so much- I felt more at home there. I REALLY don't want to return to Texas. But the plan when we retire, is to only be there half the year. I'll be home in NY the other half.

Barb, I hope you're enjoying England as much as we did Canada!

Anonymous said...

Loved reading all your stories of living in Calgary, the pictures were always beautiful. I know you were sad to leave, you and Greg grew to love living there. On to the next adventure in your life together!!


Anonymous said...

Caryl, what a beautiful blog. I can imagine you looking up to the tower and seeing you arriving at church or having refreshments at the church's basement :)
This was a nice way to describe this great city we live in. I love this place, I love this country and reading your blog gives me more pride to be Calgarian and Canadian. Thanks for everything, you both are certainly missed! Hope to see you soon - Jilczy.