Last night, as I lay in bed, I closed my eyes and somehow I was home again. In my bed. In L’Anse au Loup. In the room in the corner. In the room nestled between that of my parents and my little sister.
In the little orange room my mom painted. “Burnt orange,” she’d said. I wanted, you know, pink or purple. I ended up with the shade of, well, pumpkin.
But that was okay. I have always been pretty open to bright colours. And hey, I love Halloween. And that burnt orange room has become a running joke between my mom and I.
Anyway, last night, when I closed my eyes that’s where I was again. I could sense the window to the left. I could hear, if I chose to, the snow beating against the side of my house.
And the wind howling between that house, my home, and those of my neighbours, on its way barrelling down to meet the ocean.
If I got up, and looked through the window, I could see my friends house next door, and the street light in front of the off again, on again grocery store. I could see the snow falling, almost magically, in the twilight of my youth.
And then I switched gears. It was summertime. And instead I could hear my friends laughing, and playing hide and seek. Or the older kids playing chase. On that perfect, black, summer night, after I was forced in for the evening.
I remembered my first kiss in grade eight, whilst walking across the beach, the moon high in the sky and the boy, a Quebec boy (ohhh la la), calling my landline.
I remember that phone being like a bomb I didn’t want my parents to hear go off. And that little memory makes me smile.
I remember my brother, Marc, made us all grilled cheese sandwiches that night.
I remember when I heard that boy went on to kiss someone else. I’d left the next morning on holidays. And I remember how I felt my stomach was going to explode. And how I got over it in two days, while swimming on a family vacation with my sister.
And you know, in that bed. In that pumpkin orange room, my favourite feeling of all, was knowing that my entire family was under one roof. That all seven of us, were in one place. Safe.
In fact, I’d often stay up and wait until my oldest brother got home. And then, take a deep breath and close my eyes and drift off into sleep.
Last night, I realized how immensely blessed I’ve been. I have 3 of the most amazing brothers, and the best sister and the absolute coolest parents.
And my brothers, well, they’ve gone on to, well, marry and become amazing parents themselves.
I grew up in a little town where I’ve been loved by friends turned family.
And, man, if I get another night where I can lie in my bed here in Goose Bay, underneath this Labrador sky, and feel at home again, the way I did last night, I’ll take it.
A great man once told me, “Mandy, you can always go home.”
Well, know that I was home in my heart last night. My heart was and is often there. Sitting on the rocks, staring out at the ocean. Picking up seashells and painting lighthouses on them.
Home is exactly where my heart was last night. I guess, where it needed to be…
Just a gal from L’Anse au Loup, ❤️