I thought I’d tell you about where I grew up. I don’t think I have before, which is a shame, as it really was a fine place to be.
I was born here in Canada, in Montréal, Québec to be specific. We moved to southern Ontario when I was a toddler, and it’s where I did almost all of my growing up. When I think of this place, I think of its geography.
On one side we had Lake Ontario. It is broad and blue, and, depending on where you stand, without end on the horizon. The escarpment, a rocky outcropping that carves a jagged, irregular zigzag across the map, is to its opposite. In between and all around were fields, orchards and vineyards, with their imposed geometry of pattern and crops on the landscape.
Then there was the river.
The Niagara River flows between Lakes Erie and Ontario, over its eponymous waterfalls and a breath-stealing gorge. Over that river, across that expanse that feels so big the air between feels solid, is a whole other world; a whole other country, in fact.
That’s the thing about living in a border-ish town. There’s the false familiarity of proximity with the simultaneous awareness of difference. The feeling of sameness although not quite there.