It has been such a heck of a summer.
In the best possible way.
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself this much. I was here and there and everywhere and my house was basically a bomb zone from July 8 on, but who cares. First northern Ontario in late June, two weeks. First with friends and then with family. And then, a few weeks of life inside the aforementioned bomb zone apartment, writing and thinking and stepping around all the mess.
And then, two weeks at the Banff Centre. I ate too much. I got a lot of work done. I ran some days and not others. Liz Harmer and I went for lots of walks. After that, a few days in Calgary, catching up with Kim McCullough. We did a labrynth walk, among other things. I probably ate too much here as well, but what are you going to do.
And then I was home for a grand total of 1.5 days, before piling into my sister’s car with my mother and driving back out to Calgary, on the first leg of our #GreatCanadianRoadTrip2016.
We listened to The Tragically Hip the whole way out. On August 20, we caught the CBC concert on TV in our hotel room in Dryden. I cried. My mother cried. I said hyperbolic things on Twitter. The concert deserved the hyperbole.
We got to Calgary, where my sister met us. Before my mother left to go back to Hamilton, we had a night in Edmonton together. This is what driving 12 hours a day for three days straight looks like:
And then my sister and I piled back into the car the next morning and commenced five more days of driving. Final destination: Inuvik, NWT. It was wonderful and beautiful and astounding and everyone should drive the Dempster Highway at least once in a lifetime, as far as I’m concerned.
And eventually we got to Inuvik, and I was there for a few days before coming back home and leaving little sister to her big adventure. I won’t lie; I was envious. Adventures! I love adventures.
But then, so much of this year has been an adventure for me too. I can’t complain one bit.
After returning to Ontario, I spent another week with my parents and the family dog. She has cancer. She might leave us very soon. I don’t want to think about it, to tell you the truth.
And now I’m back up in northern Ontario again until next Tuesday, finishing my summer in the same place where I started it about 2.5 months ago. I feel…I don’t know how I feel. Like a new person, even moreso than the newness that’s already been the focus of so much of this year. Right now I’m typing on a couch, surrounded by great huge windows that all look out over the lake. It’s dark now, and the loons are calling. I’m all alone except for the dogs and yet I’ve never felt less lonely.
I feel…back in touch with myself. Or maybe in touch, for the first time, with a better, truer, calmer version of myself. It feels amazing.
I don’t want to go back to work, though of course it is inevitable. I think I’ll just ignore it for a little while longer, and listen to the loons…