Bright cloudless days, cold nights. Cold enough to kill the battery on the camera so no photographic evidence of the layer of frost on the kayak in the morning. This is the best time of year to walk, and to paddle. Tunkwa Lake, in the BC interior. A good angling lake I read, but fine enough to plop the boat in and paddle around with the ducks. I saw eagles, several osprey, and even a muskrat up close.
I changed up the routine of decades to head for grasslands instead of mountains in September. It was an interesting experience on many levels. My friend Linda came out and we walked and talked, which was very good. And interestingly enough, I did not once feel alone, or is the word “unconnected” after she left. The rest of the time was spent on my own. One thing about the wee trailer however, it is a conversation starter. In the evening, it is rare that someone doesn’t saunter over…
Its that mustard seed* thing again you know. Example: the older French – Canadian guy who wandered over to inspect me hitching up. Turns out, his wife died three years ago. As he dropped “F bombs” every second word, and punctuated his story by poking me in the belly, he was vibrating with grief. “F’ing cancer, F’ing eating my meals alone…F’ing lonely”. Or the guy at this campsite, he is 9 years a widower, recently remarried. Maybe because he’d had a couple of beers, he went straight to the heart of it – “I can’t stand being by myself”. Then he said, when I told him it was two years, “Oh, you are just at the beginning…” Its not like I introduce myself to total strangers as a widow, not at all. Its just that people want to know why. Why the tiny trailer, why are you doing it this way? And for the most part, when I tell them, it opens a channel of some sort and we end up talking on a whole different level. Its deeply heartfelt, even the guy poking me in the belly, which wasn’t creepy at all, and in fact made me laugh even while I could see how much pain he was in.
And then we go on our way.
The hiking was great, the paddling rather wonderful.
This photo is a bit edited, given it was taken at night with the phone. I instagramed it too, so for some it is a re-run. Manning Park, a late night stroll with the moon so bright that it threw a shadow.
*The Buddha told a grieving mother to search and request a mustard seed from a home that had not seen sorrow. When her search was unsuccessful, she realized the universality of loss and was restored to true sanity.