yeah. blog wagon, i broke it... so i'll make an attempt. i've been meaning to write for a while. i'm not entirely sure why i chose February of all months to return to my homeland, i suppose it made sense at the time. it was a reminder both of why i stuck around so long in the first place, and why i left for good.
i suppose the journey began as it would, at the greyhound station. i'm always buckled over with anxiety before travel for days or even weeks, until i'm sitting in my seat. not sure why, given the amount of times i've travelled ridiculous distances in this country but hey, it happens. the ride back to Ontario was long, cold, and for a brief moment absolutely terrifying. of course a massive snowstorm would roll into the Rockies just in time for my departure, which naturally resulted in some delays. one of which was a perspective changing, near-death experience.. the last thing i'd expected from the trip.
twilight before the sunrise is a strange and lonely time on a long distance bus ride. i have a hard time sleeping in general, so on a moving bus it's pretty well impossible. i was one of three passengers awake at the time, and the very only one sitting up in my seat looking out the window. coming down a hill to a bend in the road our coach passed a transport truck laying upside-down off the side of the highway, right before a drop-off in the mountain pass. glad that ain't us i was thinking, when all of a sudden the highway in front of us was coming at me through the side window. our bus began to spin, the back wheels and trailer hit the snowbank sending the rear of the bus fishtailing back in the opposite direction mere feet from the edge of the bloody mountain.. the moment the driver started yelling 'oh shit oh shit' was about the time the whole life flashing before my eyes thing began, the moment i thought it was all over.
everything was silent. what all had happened in less than a minute felt like an eternity. i could see and feel everything so intensely. the force of the coach losing control, the gently falling snow off in the distance, the heartbeat in my chest, the soft white blanket covering the trees, the icy ravine below.. it was all so real, so vivid. if this is it i thought, i lived a full life, i had a good time. i wasn't 'ready' to die, but i accepted the possibility. no fear and no regrets, in the moment.. eventually we coasted to a stop. finally i could take a breath. my ears stopped ringing. it's not over yet.
that incident sort of set the tone for the rest of the trip. winter was unforgiving, the task at hand was majorly daunting, and i didn't get to see everyone i'd hoped to. i'm grateful for the time i did get with my fams and a few good friends. i spent a good portion of my time alone and under ground trying to figure this part out. reflecting on just about every period of my life as i went through every little thing i've managed to hold on to, deciding what to keep and what to give away. photos, journals, art projects.. i'm not even sure how i still had most of it. my mother held on to a few things dearly, which i inherited back when she passed.
about that.. it's almost been a year now. when it first happened i had a hard time letting go. half of the stuff in that storage locker was hers not mine.. i panicked dealing with her sudden death and being responsible for 'cleaning up the mess' so to speak. it's not an easy thing to stay calm about, and there are things one feels when the mother dies that no one and nothing can prepare you for. cyclical waves of heart wrenching pain and hollow numbness. time does heal. returning to the locker of memorabilia was far less painful than it had been at the start. i still have my moments, this might be one of them..
i have arrived, i am home.
the journey back west was met with far less resistance. the sub-zero temps let up the day i left, the sun shone down on the greyhound bus the entire way through the prairies.. not a single flake of snow fell in any of the five provinces. i felt this was the correct direction of travel. Vancouver had been experiencing the warmest February on record while i was busy closing up shop down in the coldest Ontario had seen in over a century. the shock of returning to green lawns and cherry blossoms was overwhelming. on top of a smooth ride i managed to fluke out with an available room to rent in a house full of friends, and i have an interview for a job this coming monday in a place where i'd never have to work nights, weekends or holidays. fingers crossed.. could i be so lucky?
my destination is in each step.
every moment is brand new, besides the déjà vu of course. a friend told me once that when you experience déjà vu it is believed to signify that you are exactly where you should be in life, on the right path at the right time.. or something like that. i've always kind of felt that way even though i'm sure there's a perfectly good scientific reason for the whole phenomenon. anyways, it's hard not to exist in the moment. i've done a whole lot of moving around, but always ended up back where i started. this is the first time in my life that i intend to permanently transplant myself in a faraway land.
it feels good to be home. to feel like i'm someplace i should be.. to start over. it's hard to be homesick when home is where the heart is and i left my heart here on the coast. tomorrow is a new day. onward..