This is my response to Alan Doyle’s best-selling book Where I Belong.
I grew up listening to Great Big Sea. Every summer in my Dad’s pickup truck, towing our camper behind us, we would listen to their album Sea of No Cares on repeat. My sister and I knew every word by heart and definitely had our favourite tracks, although we didn’t always agree. Since their album cover was a large goldfish, I always called them Great Big Fish instead of Great Big Sea, this always provided some good laughs.
Alan Doyle’s book came to me at a really perfect time. My sister bought it for me this past Christmas, but I just got the time to pick it up in the past couple of weeks since I came home from university. His fond words and tales about growing up in a small town were extremely touching and all I could think about the whole time is how much I love my own home here in Nova Scotia.
It’s an average Nova Scotia town with familiar faces on every corner, teenagers who “just want out”, and a special magic for the people who have spent their entire lives here.
What makes it special for me is the people. There’s so many people who keep this little town running, and for them, I am so grateful. From local business owners to dedicated volunteers, from young, motivated students to long-time givers. The people that are at every event, do their best to buy local, and are always bringing people together for some reason or another. The people that make this town special are the people who give their whole heart to making it such a great place to live.
Everyone brings something a little different to the town, and altogether it makes for something especially beautiful. With a global trend of people moving from rural places to larger urban centres, I think it’s incredibly important to take the time to appreciate the beauty of a small town and the tight-knit community that comes with it.
These are the thoughts I’ve been having as I read Alan Doyle’s book. He recounts numerous stories of growing up in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and they keep reminding me of my fond memories of growing up in Amherst, Nova Scotia. I think this book is great for anyone who wants to take a pause and remember the place they grew up. Whether it’s a small village or large city, Where I Belong is bound to bring back some special memories.