Its been too long since I’ve been home last and I’m anxious to get back. I speed down the highway leading into my hometown on a sunny Fall day. The first hints of winter can be felt by the chill in the air. My excitement grows as I start to see the familiar sights leading me home. I speed by the John Deere dealer with the large bright green tractors and bailers lined up along the little white shop. The vet clinic blurs by me in a streak of grey and red leaving the musty smell of large animals and manure in the air. The grain tower is looming nearer now. The large oval Vittera sign becoming visible near the top of the grey elevator that towers over the town. A line of rusted red CPR grain carts are sitting near the base of elevator on the tracks awaiting their next delivery. As I cross the rail road tracks, the gate way to my little town, I feel completely at ease. The familiar bump of the tracks rumble under my tires as I pass over the track.
I turn onto Main Street and take in the familiar sights, sounds and smells. I stop in the middle of the bustling street for a mother and daughter to cross. We wave and smile at each other, the little girls blond pig tails bounce and gleam in the sun as she skips along beside her mom, her pink backpack sways side to side. I glance at the familiar red brick store fronts. The windows are filled with knick-knacks and antique furniture and the sun gleams off the old dark stains on the wood. As I drive past the post office I see a young man in a crisp white shirt with pearl snaps and faded blue jeans holding the door for an elderly lady with silver curls peaking out of a floral scarf tied under chin. She slowly pushes her walker step-by-step through the heavy glass door. As she looks to the man in thanks he tips his white straw hat, the brim dipping over the brow of his eye.
I take the final right turn to my home. The poplar trees line the edges of the cracked and lifted sidewalks, their long branches creating an arch over the street. The leaves are changing and the orange and yellow ombre effect has almost completely taken over any hint of the once green leaves. Nothing has changed since I’ve last left other than the season. The houses are all still the same monotone browns with rustic wagon wheels and old wooden benches adorning the yards. The petunia’s in the front yards are drooping; they didn’t fare well during the last recent frost. As I pull up to my own sandy brown home I can see my neighbor peek out his large front window and wave to welcome me home. I make my way up to our front door my feet pounding the old wood steps, the brown paint has started to peel. I can see my mom in the kitchen through the square window of the door. I can see she already has super on the stove. I’m happy she knew I’d want to eat her cooking as soon as I got home. I turn the brass doorknob and am welcomed home by the smell of a roast in the oven and my mom excitedly greeting me at the top of the stairs.
Growing up in my small little town has taught me so much. I’ve learned the true values of kindness to everyone no matter their background, the importance and gift of family, and the value of hard work among many other things. So many of these values in our community can be seen by doing a quick drive down main street. Many rural communities throughout Canada hold the same values and sense of home for people and is an important part of Canadians identities. Maple Creek, Saskatchewan though has made me who I am and where I consider home to be.