I was chatting on-line recently with someone I knew years ago in Toronto, and found by chance again on the Internet. We had a good, interesting chat that led to me inviting him to come up sometime for a visit. After going on, as I do, about the natural beauty of the Bruce Peninsula and my little corner of it here in Hope Ness especially, I asked the long-time Toronto resident if he’d ever been up to the peninsula. He said no, and wondered how long it would take him to get up here by car from the city, where he lives downtown. About four hours, more or less, I said.
I wasn’t surprised; after all, it took me a long time to find my way here, after going on various searches much further in other directions, but never really feeling at “home” where I ended up. Yet, here it was, all along, right in my “back yard,” so to speak.
I had the opportunity as a child born in the big city to live on a couple of farms in the southern Ontario countryside. The family circumstances that led to that happening were sad and difficult, but I won’t get into that.
My point here is going from the city to the countryside was a revelation for a boy of six when I went, first, to the farm near Streetsville, west of the city. It was only a distance of about 25 miles, or 45 kilometres, but it seemed like a totally different world.
Going from the city to that farm in the rural countryside was like going from black-and-white to colour. Continue reading