….and 2013 hustles in, with frosty breath and chilly toes, this New Year’s Eve holds a different resonance than those that have passed before. This day passed as usual last year in Bree, and there were no expectations of big changes to come. If someone had told us that we would be spending today in the heart of the Canadian prairies, we would have scoffed at the idea. Emigration wasn’t even a possibility on the horizon.
The jobs fair in March started us on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, that included the occasional precipice. The heart-scalding goodbyes at Dublin airport marked the lowest point of 2012, and the waves of homesickness that still engulf me from time to time ensure that the ride still has its downward dips. The highs are those new experiences and adventures that have accompanied our move; the beautiful sunshine and crisp snow, the ice-skating and lake-swimming, and the discovery of a new city, new friends and a whole new way of life.
I miss home. I miss my mother, my brother and sisters, my beloved sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and my nephews and nieces. I ache for the friends I made in Bree, who stitched themselves into the fabric of my life and ensured that I always had someone to talk, laugh and cry with. These months in Canada have already started the drifting apart, as phone-calls lose the day-to-day chat and instead focus on the bigger picture. The friendships are still there, and still strong, but there is always that disconnection from the everyday bits and pieces of news that used to punctuate our conversations. The time difference makes it difficult, and the busyness of our lives mean that the days and weeks pass with alarming speed.
2013 will be our first full year here in Saskatoon, our first experience of the spring and its slide into summer. We hope to get our permanent residency granted, and for the children to continue to enjoy their new school. We want to meet more Canadians, make new friends and cherish the old friends. We wish for more highs and less lows among our small Irish network here, and for continued stable and successful employment.
I wish my beloved Michael a very happy 49th birthday today; his first in Canada and the first to involve a trip to the ice-rink. Next year will be the big 50, for any of you wanting to save your pennies and celebrate it with us here in Saskatchewan….
We wish you all a happy and healthy 2013. We pray for prosperity and an easing of financial hardship in Ireland. We hope that the coming year brings joy, new adventures, more sunshine, closer ties, laughter and everyday contentment.
Enjoy celebrating the turning of the year and the promise that it brings. Sláinte!