It could have possibly happened when I lived on the west coast, just one state south of the border, in Washington, as a young child.
It could have happened when I lived on the east coast, just one state south of the border, in New York, as a kid.
It could have happened when I dove into Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, landing on a farm on Prince Edward Island.
I'm not quite sure exactly when it happened.
But, at some point it did.
I fell in love with our neighbors to the north. I fell in love with Canada.
Was there any love lost for my home country? As a child, absolutely not. However, I vividly remember my Canada curiosity.
Could I have both? Live here, love there? And what exactly was it that I loved so much?
Truthfully, when this affinity struck, I don't believe I had ever even been north of that map line.
As a kid in New York, we once went to Niagara Falls, but I couldn't tell you what side of the Falls we were on.
While living in a number of locales across this country, I have not travelled much - I leave that to my baby brother and his wanderlust. But, when I did finally travel the wee bit I have, I headed north to British Columbia in '95 and 2000. And instead of a remembered childhood love of the then abstract place on a map, Canada, I looked around and breathed deep. As much of a tourist as I was - and yes, I did indeed do the typical tourist activities - it felt more like stepping out into a favorite corner of my backyard. It was comforting, fresh, natural, and of course, a visually stunning feast for the eyes.
It's been thirteen years since last visiting and I dream of going again. In the meantime, I think I'll keep exploring that remembered childhood love through words woven across a printed page.
This post was inspired by The Cartographer of No Man's Land: A Novel by P.S. Duffy. Angus enlists in the Nova Scotia WWI regiment and travels to Europe to search for his missing in action best friend and brother-in-law. Along the way Angus discovers more than he ever wanted to know. Join From Left to Write on November 14th as we discuss The Cartographer of No Man's Land. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.