Sunday, August 31, 2014

the journey west

it began about a week before i left.. living on greyhound buses traveling the peninsula to visit friends. it gave me a chance to get used to being seated and in motion, just a little taste of the 75 hour trip ahead. it turned out to be not so bad. meeting some of the most amazing people made up for the lack of comfort.

greyhound is the cheapest way to get across the country [i'm too old for hitching anymore haha], but it isn't for everyone. two hundred bucks from 'down east' all the way to the west coast. three days straight. worth it? if you're ready... mind state. yea, i know imma be sitting on my ass for days on end, i might not get to shower, and the food is gonna suck. but someone on that bus is on a mission just as epic and imma meet them.. and i usually do. all of them by the end of it. and i did.

in the end it comes down to self-reflection. what's behind no longer matters. even forget about what's coming or where i'm going... just existing in the now, on this bus, with these people, by myself. the long dark night in northern ontario was crisp and breathtaking. i couldn't sleep for the cold and the motion, but as my eyes drifted outside the window to the blackest of skies i could see the stars coming through clear as day. and after a few moments when my eyes had adjusted, i could see the milky way. love.

the prairies are always a favourite. not saying i'd be likely to live there [not a fan of the winters], but what a place to watch a storm. i was thankful that a storm was chasing our greyhound across the grasslands. with nothing obstructing the view of the clouds i could see both edges of the storm. it rained and rained, cleansing.. the entire sky overtaken. then after a good lightning show, the clouds let the sun shine through. double rainbow over the trans-canada..

almost home. once through the prairies the rest of alberta and bc goes rather quick. the ever changing terrain keeps me fixated outside the window, awaiting every rest stop so that i can jump off and taste the air. the most exciting part of course is leaving calgary. one because i get to leave calgary, and second because that's about when you can really start to see the mountains creeping up on the horizon. permasmile.

i love it. the mountains are amazing and majestic and i can't wait to wander them. autumn is coming, and you best believe i brought my cameras. haha! october is my favourite colour. i love pumpkin spice, i'm white as hell, and fuck starbucks. the adventure continues.. as i land in VanCity.

Friday, August 22, 2014

day 22

well that went quick. sometimes. other moments lasted a day themselves. i'm a pretty firm believer that everything happens in it's time, and i'm glad i took this time to just be. i'm so grateful that i was able to spend an hour almost every morning this month slowly pacing the garden, picking snacks, harvesting lunch and care packages. it feels so much more natural waking with the sun to toil in the garden or work for food than to get up by alarm and miss the day while inside hustling the best hours away.

it takes time to learn the value of a dollar. it takes wisdom to learn the value of time, of days and of moments. to me right now, nothing means more than taking my time. at any moment it could be over, and i'm particularly sensitive these days about not wasting any more time.

every day since i decided to opt out of the common north american lifestyle has been a blessing. i don't regret opting in in the first place. having lived both domesticated and not, i have a good idea of the balance i can achieve to have some sort of stability with the freedom i need to move around. i learned a lot about myself and the world, and now have a better idea of what i want to do with myself, a greater sense of purpose. the basis of my purpose being to get the most out of life while helping others do the same. and to give back, always giving back.

finally i've had time to give back to the people in my life who have helped to make it the epic experience that it has been. walking around the hometown i've taken for granted with the loved ones i never had time for, and traveling to other towns and cities in the peninsula to hit up friends and family for more laughs and moments. i'm especially grateful for this time after years of 40 hour work weeks and having weekends to juggle relaxation and recuperation with getting chores done and maybe, just maybe visiting friends. i like this better. the sacrifices i have to make to sustain this mode a while are well worth it.

i leave for the west coast tuesday. i've been living out of a pile in the corner that will be all i am bringing with me. i prepared my packs a couple weeks ago so that i can get a feel for what i'm bringing, and have time to swap things out that i may not need as much as other things. i haven't really been home much except to sleep which was out in the tent most of the summer.

today i'm mostly catching up, doing some laundry, maybe another trip to the garage, and sorting out my funds. soon come mountains, soon come ocean, soon come one long-ass bus ride. but first, a few more slightly less long bus journeys to visit more homies before i go. tomorrow, KW.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

moving on..

 we are thinking of moving in the spring..
so i look around the yard for what i might take with me.
i can leave the garden, perhaps take a plant or two,
and the planter box most definitely, it's from my brother.
and the water barrel from my dad
and of my mother, all i have are these hands
that plant the seeds into the soil.

my sisters are beckoning me
the white tipped tops of mountains calling..
before we make the move i must go sailing
to find the place where the sun sets
to put my mind at ease.

when my mother left, she took time with her
as if she was the only one keeping count.
the days no longer exist if not on paper
minutes no longer pass without the digits on the wall.
so this is freedom..

Sunday, August 17, 2014

where i'm at, where i'm going.

right now.. i only have one thing set in stone, a bus ticket west. i'm not really sure about where i'll end up, how long i'll be, what i'm going to accomplish while i'm out there, or any of the things i've been asked or wondering myself. i just don't know. planning things to a degree is good, but i'm leaving space for the universe to do with me what it will. usually works out better that way rather than trying to stick to a certain plan. i have lots of resources lined up, friends to visit and time to spend. there are opportunities to learn, to farm, to discover my own potential. and of course, to work.

there's been a lot happening between preparing for this journey, settling my mother into her resting place, and tying up loose ends. i'm grateful that i took a month before traveling to get everything done, or i'd have never had time to spend with the people i share my life with. another bonus of retirement, less stress on friendships and relationships. we'd never see each other, all working opposite shifts. i've been able to see friends i haven't been able to see due to schedules and general busy-ness, hang with my baby brother, and go on random adventures until late in the evening when usually it'd be far past my bed-time. what an amazing freedom. now i remember what i liked about this lifestyle. now if i can only make time to write.. working on it.

something else has happened since i've been off. i have a far greater appreciation for the place that i live, both my hometown and the house itself. having time to actually wander reminds me what i like about being here in the first place, and i'm already excited to return, whenever that may be. there has been talk here and there of the housemates relocating in the spring, so i've spent as much time as i could in the yard and in the garden. i have already opted out of my space in the house until further notice, and Matty will make sure the garden and the kitty are looked ofter while i'm gone. back to the garden.. the sunflowers are gigantic this year, the fruits so sweet. it's been nice having time to savour the literal fruits of our labour. and the shade.

i took down my tent finally after a few good weeks camping out behind the urban farm. the next week coming is filled with various mini adventures around the peninsula before i leave the province. most of my books and overflow seasonal gear has made it safely into the storage garage. it'll be nice to have my own personal library and mini inventory of clothing and gear all neatly organized and ready for my return. that and a little workspace set up for when i get back into my winter crafting. i have a feeling this winter will be a long one in Ontario, it's already hinting at moving in.

it's a good thing it's 'back to school' season. i had to pick up an agenda, since retiring i've been keeping busy and i have to keep track of my days. my money too, funds are finite and i must monitor my spending. i have about a week left until i hop the Greyhound west. the pages are pretty full.. i'm sure it will pass quickly. i thought a month would be a long time, but it feels like only a few days since i retired back to the rucksack. a good few though. now to get back to what i've been up to...

Monday, August 4, 2014


it's the end of an extra long weekend, and i won't be getting up for work in the morning. there's no more alarms, no rushing to get ready, no hourly dealines five days a week. there's other deadlines now, like getting things done before i leave in three weeks, making sure i have enough money to pay the few bills i still have on time, and contemplating ways i can sustain myself [make money] without working forty hours a week for someone else. i have to pick and dive in to hopefully see a return before i run out of loot. if not, of course there's always a plan b. work for someone else, only not as much.. i have one hell of a resume. that way i'd still have time to develop my own business plan. and yknow, actually enjoy living without being exhausted all the time.

i have to get a stone for my mother's grave. we finally put her ashes to rest on Friday afternoon. finally, a moment of closure for her family. i've been anxious especially to put down the marker, but the price has gone up quite a bit since the last time one of us was buried. i'll make it happen one way or another. it'll likely be the last thing i do before i leave, to bring my stepdad there to visit. but i want the stone to be in place first. i refuse to go before this happens. i'm working on a post about closure, so i'll save the rest of that thought.

which brings me to my point.. i'm having a hard time trying to relax. i did my best to take some time over the long weekend and just lay in my tent, or wander slowly without a destination. it's difficult to do so without the thoughts of 'real life' leaking in. i find relief when i stand barefoot in the dirt, in the garden. it's wonderful to just sit in the yard, and breathe deep. the green oasis that we built does well to mask the bustle of the city beyond.

i spent a good hour just laying on my mat in the grass under the tarp. i had a bug's eye view of the yard, when i had my eyes open. i could see the blades of grass dancing gently in the breeze. the crickets chirp at all hours of the day and night in this lush green inner city cove. the air is lovely down there in the grass, i couldn't help but drift off in the calm. eventually i was awakened by the sound of dog tags clanging together as their owner pranced towards me. a wet nose in my face brought me back into consciousness.

there's much to do, and i must get back on task in the morning, save my sanity. it was nice just hanging out in the yard, like in the summer days between the years of grade school. the sense of not needing to be anywhere but where i was brought me back.