For him, every day is the same — a day bathed in routine.
The cool morning air bites at his skin as he peels back the corner of the sheets and slides out of his warm coccoon. He doesn’t bother making the bed, despite what his mother taught him when he was young.
“I’ll just climb back into it later anways,” he thinks as he leaves the pile of blankets haphazardly on the bed like a dollop of whip cream on a pumpkin spice latte.
Dull light of the early fall morning seeps through the bedroom window, illuminating the small room, occupied by a rustic wooden bedframe, in a pale glow.
Peering through the wooden slats of the shades, he basks in the pale light as he takes in the vast wooded mountains and glistening waters of Kalamalka Lake in the distance. But there’s little time to enjoy the view — has has to leave soon.
He fills his bowl with the same chocolate peanut butter cereal he has almost every morning. Each sweet bite floods his senses with nostalgia, reminding him of his childhood and eating his favourite breakfast with his older brother while watching cartoons Saturday mornings.
Before leaving, he rinses his bowl, though his thoughts are still occupied by images of his childhood, images of home.
“Sing to me your sweet song, Saskatchewan, where I belong.”
Zachary Lucky’s Saskatchewan seems to play on repeat inside his head as he reminisces about his home province.
The engine of his old red truck coughs itself to life, and soon the rubber of the wheels bites at the pavement, hugging the road as it winds its way down the mountain. Trees surround the road on either side, mimicking the walls of skycrapers in the big city he once lived after leaving heart of the prairies. But neither remind him of home, where the wind whips across open fields pollinated by odd bunches of trees that glow orange in the fall sunlight.
Fall is his favourite season. He would love nothing more than to walk the paved paths along the South Saskatchewan River as they wind through downtown Saskatoon where the Delta Bessbourough casts its stoic watch over the city and the burnt orange maple leaves crinkle under each footstep — or to stroll down Broadway Avenue, his favourite area in Saskatoon for its artisinal shops and pubs serving the finest of pints, and cross the river using picturesque and trusty Broadway Bridge as the cool, fall air floats along one of Canada’s major river systems.
“The orange and yellow trees are the same,” he thinks to himself as he nears Vernon city limits. He loves the woods, but the more he thinks of home, the more he misses it.
He’s on his fourth city in five years, and he’s no longer certain where he belongs.
But, as he parks his old Ranger and enters the office, he’s greeted by friends and coworkers. He checks his phone as he sips his coffee and notices a sweet good morning text from both his partner and his parents. And, as the day wares on, the choking grip of homesickness loses its grasp.
He knows that home isn’t a pin on a map. Home is where you’re surrounded by those who care for you and those you care for.
He isn’t a man without a home, but a man who is lucky to have four.