Yesterday I did what I’ve wanted to do ever since moving to Halifax and the best beaches around. I fell asleep on the beach, covered by a big quilt, with my littlest daughter snuggled in and lightly snoring in cadence with the waves. It was all kinds of glorious.
The waves were as soothing as one would hope for an oceanside nap, the sun was out and warm (as evidenced by the slight burn I got on my neck) and the sand was somewhat soft.
We’ve found our favourite beaches, the ones with soft,white sand and shades of blue water that evokes images of the tropics until you step in the water and it resembles glacier water. We drive along the water on Saturday afternoons, sipping drinks and singing loudly to the radio.
When we moved here two and half years ago, I had no idea what Nova Scotia was like. I knew lobsters, the Atlantic Coast and that it was close to Prince Edward Island aka Anne’s land. I didn’t know that the province was small enough to drive around in a couple of days, I didn’t know that the landscape was so diverse from ocean beaches to pastoral farmland to ski mountains. I didn’t know that Cape Breton was so diverse, so beautiful and that it’s still part of Nova Scotia even though it’s an island.
We arrived here early one August morning, bleary-eyed from flying through the night (our girls slept, we sort of did), found coffee and made our way to the Halifax harbour front. We wandered along with the crowds and I kept reminding myself that we weren’t tourists here, we just moved here and it was going to be home.
We came here for school, a story I’ve been recounting a lot lately. My husband went back to school to pursue his music degree and I dug into making this new province home. School didn’t end the way it should have (it’s a long story and one I won’t be sharing here), we thought we would finish the degree, win a job with a symphony orchestra in a big city and call it good. We’re still living here with not intention of moving from the province, music is still a huge part of our life but it’s not what pays the bills.
I honestly didn’t think we’d be living here for that long. I embraced it for the adventure it was, making day trips to the beaches and points of interest.
But here we are, coming up on three years of living in Nova Scotia, surrounded by a close community of friends. Friends who have become our family, since our family lives across the country with a 3 hour time difference in our days. We have seasonal routines, we know where to go to pick strawberries and our favourite coffee shops. I can make recommendations where to go and where to stay and what is worth doing when I’m asked. We have a standing list of places to take friends and family when they come visit.
Nova Scotia has become home, something I never thought I would say in all of my wildest daydreams. It’s hard being far from the grandparents and cousins, it’s not been all lobster rolls and beach picnics. I actually haven’t had a lobster roll yet or even cooked a lobster (this is happening soon!) so maybe I still have one more step in calling this place home. But we’ve made memories here, we’ve dug deep into life and somehow even the heart-wrenching experiences make it more home.
Life looks different then it did on that August morning, we’re a little less naive about a cross-country adventure, we know a little more about digging into an area and how to make it home. But I’m still just as enamoured by the harbour and the water, I think that part will always stay the same.
Tell me about how you’ve made your home, home. What helps you to dig in deep to community where you live?