Fiona Grisswell’s Kayak. (Fiona Grisswell photo)

Fiona Grisswell’s Kayak. (Fiona Grisswell photo)

Irish Lake tugs at the heartstrings

Fiona Grisswell’s column to the Free Press

My kayak is waiting patiently for me to get home tonight.

It’s been a long winter – the ice seemed to take forever to disappear this spring. But finally, tonight, as a celebration of the start of a new adventure, I will be gliding across the surface of my favourite lake with only birds and fish for company.

There is magic to be found here in the Cariboo. Birthdays spent visiting my favourite waterfalls. Long walks through autumn woods, just me and the dog. The sounds of the frogs filling the moonlit nights. Stars set in skies so clear and black you can reach out and gently hold them in your hands.

When I moved here almost three years ago, I was looking for something. I just couldn’t seem to figure out what that something might be. I came down this way for a visit and felt a tug at my heartstrings. A few months later I came this way again and I simply knew this was my answer.

There was a problem though. I made my decision to up stakes and move here based on instinct, not something I placed much faith in when making life-altering decisions.

After all, who throws away a good job and the city lights to move to the middle of nowhere and commune with the wild things?

I do, it seems.

Family and friends were skeptical. Many had to look Lone Butte up on Google Maps. Once they zoomed in close enough for the town to appear on the map, skepticism turned to looks of downright disbelief.

Popular odds gave me a year before I came to my sense and headed back to reality. Yet, as the days became weeks and the weeks became months, my heart found itself caught up in this tiny slice of paradise.

Even now, I could not begin to tell you what possessed me to lose my sanity and chuck it all away. But the fun part about all this? It really doesn’t matter.

I am on the adventure of my life. I’ve made up my own rules and so far? I can’t complain.

I have all I could ask for in this life. Family, good friends, both new and old, a goofy dog and psycho cat. Work that challenges me.

And on top of all that, a place to come home to the end of a day that enriches my life in unimaginable ways.

Each morning when I wake and look out the window, I still give thanks for whatever vagaries of fortune led me down this way.

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