Opportunity and adventure: moving to Waterloo

Houseplants in living room window

It might look peaceful enough, but this living room is the scene of a recent dramatic transition. My partner and I have just finished moving our home from Guelph to Waterloo, Ontario.

Moving is supposedly one of the most stressful life experiences, along with getting married and losing a loved one. Having a sensitivity to the spirit of a place or genius loci, I’m prone to anxiety about changing my home.

We didn’t especially want to give up the place we left. We loved the house but the rent was high. Finances required us to reduce housing costs. We considered buying but the time wasn’t right. We had to weigh our priorities and make some compromises. It could have been a terribly depressing process. Besides, I had lived in Guelph for 32 years and loved the city.

Despite this, the move has turned out extremely well. The right frame of mind was essential. Treating the transition as an adventure and opportunity has made it happy rather than regrettable. Good luck brought us into a spacious townhouse backing on extensive parkland rather than a cramped inner city apartment. We’ve still had to downsize. It has been a valuable exercise in simplifying our lifestyle. But I look forward to living here with unreserved joy.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll post some more thoughts on the subject of moving, along with some portraits of our new home city, Waterloo.

Coincidentally, I bought a new macro lens. Starting yesterday I began challenging myself to take a photo every day with it, lasting some period of time yet to be determined. This photographic study will emphasize the world of small and the ground beneath my feet. Watch for periodic galleries of these images.

In leaving Guelph, I considered whether I should change the name of this blog. I no longer have any immediate connection with the Speed River or its little sister, the Eramosa River. However, in some respect I’ll always feel at home with them, and both flow into the Grand River which is the lifeblood of Waterloo Region. For me, place has to do with knowing who we are and where we belong, and flowing water remains a metaphor for life. For now, the rivers of Guelph remain part of my identity.

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