I've been adrift.
Unsure of what's ahead. GPS malfunctioning.
Fifty-eight. Not my first time at this juncture.
Been here enough to know beautiful things are on the other side.
And even in the unsettling here and now.
I have a new assignment for the months ahead:
The joy of living.
The timing's serendipitous. Delivered to me from a benevolent universe.
Sitting on the sagging dock, on the right, between Yvonne and Angie.
Strawberry blond hair in the sunlight.
Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island.
A few days into Katimavik. (Look it up.) Nine months that changed me.
In the worn cardboard box of my memory:
The Cowichan welcome.
Bonding while building bunk beds from scratch to sleep in.
The quiet and shelter of the big pines.
A safety film called Chain Saw Savvy. (I can't unwatch that.)
Phil bringing warm milk from the cows in the morning. The terrible night sounds of dogs in with the sheep.
Wild Tofino Beach—giant driftwood, mounds of seaweed, jacket-slapping wind,
thundering waves, and the moody slate grey sky.
Wrapping soft dough disks around pierogi filling for Ukrainian Christmas.
Bill Reid's The Raven and the First Men at UBC.
Buying a used bookstore copy of Leonard Cohen's The Spice Box of Earth.
Learning to ride a horse at Bromont Equestrian Centre.
Hayward's solid-gold sense of humour. The care package from home—jarred moose meat.
For this young woman, it was a character-shaping period of public service. Priceless life lessons.
Living and working in a community. Serving others.
So many beautiful people in that photo. More on the travels across the country.
The thing that turned up at seventeen, when I didn't know what was next.
I still have a heart full of gratitude for the experience.
Singing this chorus at the top of our lungs around a fire.
The echo off the lake. Sparks whorling up to meet the darkness.
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