2003 September 10

No piece of the universe more fit for princes and kings

Monday night Bill got on my case again, like usual, about why I'm not moving back to Halifax. Only this time, I realized I no longer have a good answer. I could move back to Halifax, if I wanted to, now that I'm moving anyway. I'd need a different business plan than the one I've been working to, but then, that plan was designed when I thought I was carrying it out in Boston, and it needs to be revisited anyway.

I could move back to Halifax, if I wanted to. But I find myself strangely reluctant.

Don't get me wrong: I love Halifax. It's a great place, lots of life, beautiful setting, big enough to have culture but small enough to have affordable housing -- about the only real strike against it is the godawful sorry excuse for a Nova Scotia spring. My parents and one of my grandmothers live here, so they'd love to have me back in town, and I think I've had enough independence now that I could even handle that.

I've spent the past couple days trying to work out why I'm still hesitating, and I think the reason is this: I've changed a lot since I last lived in Halifax. I think I've grown; I've certainly become more confident, comfortable with risks, and I think also more big-city aggressive. I am half afraid that I've outgrown this city.

But then, my impression of the city is based on the people I knew when I lived here, and I was a different person then. It's entirely possible that, returning as an adult, I could build myself a very different social circle. It's not as if there's any lack of life in this town -- I was downtown this afternoon, and Spring Garden Rd was buzzing as much as Davis Square ever does, if not more.

So I don't know. I think I would like Toronto, but I have no particular attachment to the place, and it worries me to move somewhere where I don't know anyone. Even when I went to California I knew Dave and Dan but still had trouble making a social life; I'm not looking forward to starting again from scratch. On the other hand, do I really want to learn that I've outgrown my home town? I figure I have about a week at the most to make up my mind, because I've got to move out of my apartment in Somerville by the end of the month.

My title line, for those who don't recognize it (and I think this will be all the non-Maritimers) is from the folk tune "Song for the Mira":

Out on the Mira one warm afternoon
Old men go fishing with black line and spoon
And if they catch nothing they never complain
I wish I was with them again

Can you imagine a piece of the universe
More fit for princes and kings?
I'll give you ten of your cities
For Marion Bridge and the pleasure it brings
This would no doubt be the anthem of Nova Scotia, if "Farewell to Nova Scotia" didn't already hold that (unofficial) honour. Of course, given the subject of this entry, I'd probably be better off with a reference to "Barrett's Privateers", but I don't see a good line in there to grab.

The weather, meanwhile, has been absolutely gorgeous here: warm, sunny, and mostly dry. I've been out on the water most days, either in the little rowboat doing a lap end-to-end in the cove (about half a mile) or with my father in his new powerboat out in the harbour. Yesterday we went into the Northwest Arm past the Squadron, almost to the Dingle, and we've also been out to Portuguese Cove and across to the McNab's lighthouse. The views have stunningly beautiful -- the water a warm blue-almost-green you don't usually get in Nova Scotia, the sky clear turquoise, and in between bands of brown seaweed, beige granite, and deep green fir trees. When the weather cooperates, the scenery here can hold its own with any in the world, except possibly the fjords of Norway.


I've been out on the water most days

You lucky, lucky man. I'm glad to hear things are pleasant for you.

I know how you feel about outgrowing your home town. I frequently feel like I've outgrown my home state, and it's kind of an uncomfortable feeling. Good luck figuring it out.

Posted by: Amy on September 11, 2003 08:52 AM
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