I've been stressed since I arrived in Cold Lake.
I've been working on Toronto time—both literally and figuratively—waking up two hours early to meet Eastern Standard Time deadlines; gulping back cups of coffee while the Cold Lakers around me stroll, oblivious to a life where every moment is money. I've been on edge, raw, grumpy, waking up in the middle of the night to check emails on my phone.
On Wednesday, I drove an hour into northern Saskatchewan, just to have dinner with my best friend Naomi. She lives in Goodsoil, which is the second village over the border. (The first being Pierceland.)
Fresh BC cherries at my side, I tossed the pits out my open window, the Wooden Sky coming through my speakers. As I drove across the border, the haze from the forest fires that's been ever-present since my arrival finally cleared, opening up the perfect Prairie sky.
After dinner, we sat on Naomi's back porch, eating rhubarb from her garden, which she had baked into a piping hot crisp. Sitting in the kind of comfortable silence that only years of friendship can provide, we watched a storm roll across the field towards us, lightening flashing, the clouds unfurling careful grey tendrils as they passed over her house.
"I don't understand why people find driving through Alberta and Saskatchewan boring," I lamented. "I still think it's one of the most beautiful places on earth."
"Some people just take things for granted," Naomi said. "Every time I drive to Cold Lake I find something new to look at. Everything changes so quickly."
I think the problem is that people are just looking at the wrong thing. They're looking down, instead of up at the perfect Alberta sky.