Driving into Montreal, the Five Roses Flour sign blinks red above its silos, an unofficial welcome back to the city after a drive down to the United States.
It is my last full day of a two-week trip back to Montreal and it has been filled with lots of family time and special moments. No matter how many phone calls or Skype calls, nothing really replaces time spent with cousins, sisters, brothers, parents in real time, in real presence. There is something affirming about family time, at least for me; we've had a whole life together, a constellation of moments we all share, people we cherish.
Even for all its maddening qualities, challenges and quirks, Montreal will always be home for me. These streets are familiar, this mixing of English and French, the great diversity, the funk and the fabulous. The sometimes languid pace of life here can leave something to be desired, or, conversely, it can be wholly instructive; time to check in, slow down, enjoy. The formation one gets growing up in this city is so incredibly unique and irreplaceable, and there is something ticking in the heart of this little metropole.
Perhaps it's just an ideal summer foray that has me in a deeply reflective mood. Maybe I would not say the same in the frost of winter. And it is not to say that I am not incredibly blessed with my life in London at the moment; I am exactly where I need and want to be. Just throwing out some mad props to MTL, ma ville, ma patrie. Cheers to Montreal.