I've been home for about twenty four hours at this point and it's just starting to kick in as I sit here in the sun looking at the trees. As soon as I crossed the border I was anxious to find the signs that would let me know I was home, something beyond a conscious recognition of the sentence "I am in Canada now." I needed to see something or feel something deep down in my bones. This afternoon has provided that, I think, precisely because I've stopped searching and just assumed that I'm home and I will recognize the fact sooner or later. I'm reminded of Barthes' description in Incidents of his home in France:
My second Sud-Ouest is not a region, merely a line, a lived trajectory. Whenever I drive down from Paris (I have made this trip a thousand times) I pass Angoulême, where there is a signal that tells me I have crossed the threshold and am entering the country of my childhood; a pine grove on one side of the road, a palm tree in a courtyard, a certain height of the clouds that gives the terrain the mobility of a face. Then begins the great light of the Sud-Ouest, noble and subtle at the same time; never gray, never low (even when the sun is not shining), it is light-as-space, defined less by the colors it imparts to things (as in the other Midi) than by the eminently habitable quality it communicates to the earth. I find no other way of saying it: it is a luminous light.When I drive up from Buffalo on the QEW, as I cross the Burlington Skyway and see the Lake, I find myself in a similar landscape. I know the quality of the light here, and I know how to move within it. For a month or so, I'm home. Tomorrow is Canada Day, and I'm delighted to be here to celebrate my country.