Six years ago, we left our lives in British Columbia, Canada to start a new adventure. It wasn't the first time we've done something like that, and I'm sure it won't be the last, but this one was big. It meant selling our home, quitting jobs with no other prospects, buying an RV and travelling across this beautiful country of ours with 3 kids, a dog, and a very unhappy cat, who now resides back in BC I might add. It also meant leaving all our friends and family behind. Looking back at it now, I really can't believe we did that. Most people told us we were crazy. Some even said we were terrible parents for jeopardizing our children's happiness that way, and some were completely supportive. I was even asked once, if we were fugitives. I could only wish my life was that exciting. But at the time, I had absolutely no worries. None. I saw the road ahead, new adventures to experience and new people to meet. The things we've experienced, and the people that have come in to our lives because of the decisions we have made are worth all the struggles and sacrifices to get to where we are today. People always ask me if I miss the West Coast, and Vancouver, and I would have to say of course I do. I miss the mountains, and a rushing river, and the immense trees that reach for the sky. But for me, I miss family the most. But those feelings are natural. It's ok to miss things. And to be truthful I really don't miss the rain! Following your dreams and your heart are so important in this life. We are only given one chance. If you cloud your life with looking back on past decisions, and what if's, and old baggage, you aren't able to embrace the now, or look positively towards the future.
So Nova Scotia has become our new home and we have fallen for this province hook, line and sinker. Where we live now is completely opposite to where my husband and I grew up. Priorities are completely different, the landscape is diverse, and the familial history that goes back generations is phenomenal. The first questions you are asked when you meet someone new in Yarmouth is not what do you do for a living or where you live, but who your family is. What's your history? What's your last name? And believe me, when I tell someone our last name, they know instantly, we are not from around these parts.
We live in the southwestern part of the province which has very strong Acadian roots, and two languages are spoken, Acadian French and English. Here is a link to some great information about Acadians should you be interested.
And living in a small community is so much different than a city. People know one another here, and have for generations. Their connection to each other spans centuries. And their memories are long, so you better behave yourself!
But living in rural Nova Scotia has its challenges. Yarmouth recently lost its ferry connection to the state of Maine, in the USA. It has hurt the town dramatically, and there has been a big exodus of young families to Alberta. Some houses sit vacant, and many stores and restaurants are closed. But I have faith in this little town. It has been here for hundreds of years, and will be for many more. And you truly can't beat the lobster.
Yarmouth is predominantly a fishing community now which makes it difficult for some to eke out a living. Fishing is a hard life, and is enveloped in tragedy each season. This past lobster season, 5 young men were lost at sea when their boat was overturned in a storm and another young man fell overboard and was never seen again. But as most small communities do, they rallied together and supported one another through the sorrows and they go out and fish once more.
It is also a community that revolves around hunting and fishing, and living life to its fullest. Four wheelers and motorbikes sit outside the local Tim Horton's and hunters orange is a must in the fall, when deer season opens.
I love Yarmouth. I love its endless lakes, back country roads, beaches and people. I love that I can sit on a rock and gaze out at the ocean, knowing that in the 1700's they would hold Mass at the same spot I am sitting today. I feel part of something here. Something old. And every now and then, if you are really quiet, you can hear the whispers of the past as you walk down an old rail bed, or stumble upon an old rock wall that lines the grown over fields and orchards from days gone by. Yarmouth. A place rich in history and a wonderful place to be.