Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011 - No comments

Wistful Anticipation

The suitcases came out of the closet today.

Four more sleeps til I’m on a plane to Canada for the summer, and I figure it’s high time I start acting like it. It’s not that it snuck up on me or that I’m not excited. It’s just that my life has been careening at such a breakneck pace for the last, oh, two months, and there are still a million things to do before I get on that plane, so I feel like my brain won’t really switch gears until my passport is stamped and my seatbelt is buckled.

I do know myself well enough by now, though, to know that an 18 hour plane trip isn’t enough for me to emotionally make the transition between this home and that home, so in an attempt to avoid a bad case of cultural jetlag (culture lag?) I need to start processing the switch now. In all my spare time. :)

My heart is in an interesting spot. On the one hand this is my first real summer home in Canada in like twelve years, and there are so many things that I am SO looking forward to - things that meant “summer” to me growing up. On the other hand, I’ve spent the last five summers here in Turkey, and there are a whole lot of things I am feeling wistful about missing out on by being gone. (40 degree days with sticky humidity not being one of them.) It helps to remember that it’ll still be deathly hot when I get home again in August, and we’ll still have a good month or more of “summer” left. But, having been too busy to really enjoy much of the beginning of the season (I just packed away my winter clothes today, if that tells you anything!) I’m just feeling a little like I’ve got seasonal whiplash.

So, because I like to make lists, and because I am too tired to write very many complete sentences right now, I’m gonna process a bit by making lists of all the things I’m excited to do at home this summer, and all the things I’m gonna miss about Turkish summers.

Things I’m looking forward to about being home:

-the JOY of being with my best friend
-English Bay fireworks competition
-the Salmon Festival
-picnics and bonfires at Garry Point
-Pajo’s Fish n’ Chips
-family gatherings
-Timothy’s Frozen Yogurt
-Stanley Park
-being able to go running
-the Public Library
-a cousin camping trip (haven’t asked anyone, but wouldn’t it be fun?)
-Tennessee fireflies
-Bard on the Beach and Theatre Under the Stars
-the ice cream man
-wearing shorts

Things I’m gonna miss about summer here:

-long nights talking over tea on our best Turkish friends’ balcony (if I could bottle up "a summer night" and carry it around with me, that'd be it right there)
-wedding fireworks from the surrounding villages
-how it takes a long time to get home in the evening cuz on every front porch, people are out drinking tea and inviting you into the circle
-fig season!
-open-air cinema on the beach (I haven’t been, but I’ve been wanting to try it!)
-the smell of fresh bread baking wafting up from the bakery late at night
-loading up the picnic bag and heading to the Med
-walking to town for Magnum bars whenever we get an ice cream craving
-sleeping outside under the mosquito net
-grilling kebabs on the terrace
-the sound of the owls that live on our neighbours’ roof
-adventures at the waterfalls
-that feeling of community that comes from the way everyone lives outside on their balconies in the summer and you go to sleep listening to the sounds of tinkling teaspoons and laughter and life going on around you and feeling a part of it somehow
-the smell of the honeysuckle that wafts up from our garden
-hedgehogs in the yard
-the little clay lanterns with star-shaped holes in them that we light candles in at night on the balcony

I’m a citizen of two worlds, with my home in another one entirely. And I am trusting the One who watches over my coming and my going to help me be all there wherever I am this summer. Besides, I know that once I am wrapped up in a mom-sized hug at the airport, I won’t be thinking of teapots or mosquito nets at all....