Today I had to break out the coat which in Winchester was my winter coat but here in Calgary is just an early autumn coat. School is starting for everyone again and in the morning I pass three other post-secondary institutions on the train before I get to mine. The summer as we know it is over, I think, and for the first time in four years, I will be staying to see autumn.
Right now Winchester is still warm. The trees haven’t changed colours yet and it’s possible to wear shorts outside. Calgary’s perpetually cloudy and when the clouds get dark enough we try to guess what they’ll release: rain, hail, or snow? It’s impossible to know for sure. Hail the size of golfballs aren’t unusual, snowstorms in August have been known to occur, rain is possibly the least likely to happen, though if it does it could mean a flood.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say there is more to miss than the weather. I miss being excited to go to class. I miss meeting up with friends on a whim because we were all within walking distance of each other. I miss having the time to work on assignments, my blog, my own writing, hold a part-time job, and still having the time to meet with friends and sleep a decent amount of hours. I miss being able to go into town when I’m bored without having to take a bus or the train. I miss being so close to other places that they were only a train ride away.
But also, I’m glad of not having to pack for three months and dragging myself across an ocean in the span of one day. I’m glad to be closer to my siblings, at least in miles. I’m glad I don’t have to calculate exchange rates in my head (though I do anyway sometimes because I’m so used to £s now).
Calgary has more to offer. We have more than one shopping mall. We’re consistently in the top five list of cities to live in and we’re one of if not the cleanest city in the world. Nearly all of my extended family are here and there are gatherings all the time. Sure, we’re in a recession, but Calgary is still cheaper than Winchester which was the most expensive city to live in in the UK after London. Everything’s newer, so there isn’t as much history but neither are there as many bothersome cobblestone roads. Both Winchester and Calgary have pathways by rivers to stroll along and write by.
Of course, I do not forget how I pined for my mountains. I’m glad to have them back, but now I miss the English countryside that greeted me for so long. I wish I could have them both.
I’ll go back one day–of that I’m sure. But for now I’ll enjoy to the best of my ability this city I’ve called home for my entire life, and yet no longer feels like it.