There is no better spot to recharge your body and refresh your mind than floating in the middle of a lake on a cloudy day, a good ten minutes swim from shore, staring up at the sky and thinking of nothing at all in the world but kicking your legs to keep above water.
On our annual trip back to Toronto, Adam and I try to get to the cottage for as long as possible. These days the cottage is more of a priority than the city because it usually works out to be our only week of phones-off relaxation every year. And it always surprises me how quickly my worries fall away, and it makes me realise that this blog seems mostly to be about how to maintain that feeling of worry-free living even when you live and work in a busy city.
Another thing that occurred to me on this trip was that I have now been living in the UK for longer than I have lived anywhere else. Does that make me officially British? I mean, a UK passport is the only passport I have so maybe so? I don’t really feel like any nationality though, I just feel like Freya – making my home in people and places since my time began.
It used to bother me that I didn’t have a home town, and while I also thought it was kind of cool being nomadic, it was also lonely and a bit of an exhausting feeling of not having a physical place to belong to.
These days I feel at home in a lot of places, and I find my home town in the feelings that come back to me from being little in a variety of places. Feelings such as floating in a big Canadian lake, becoming wrapped up in those lingering Ontario sunsets, the smell of an old growth forest with a history longer than I can even comprehend. The feeling of being wrapped up in a brand new Roots jumper that smells like a combination of back-to-school and chilly summer evenings around the fire.
As I get older and too busy to take in the world around me as much as I did when I was young, I anchor that feeling of home mostly in people, and I am more selective about those people than I ever used to be. I also ground that feeling of identity in the things that I choose to pour my time into: my photography, the books I read, the places I spend my time, the trips I go on.
And most of all I believe that home is yourself, it's where you belong. It’s in you and it’s somewhere that will never leave you. It will always be there to take care of you and welcome you with open arms, wrapping you up in comforting memories and smells like a brand new jumper, or lifting you up and encouraging you with the promise of new adventures and the belief that you can do anything.