Journal Entry - Sept 17, 1999 - Update from Ottawa
5245k down 2800k to go
"This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the
birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A
lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by like a torrent
down a steep mountain." - Gautama Buddha
Canada is a big country with lots of space between its people. Sometimes
that space shrinks to create memorable moments of interaction, then expands
back to its original state. We all do things in our lives to help that
space shrink momentarily allowing us to differentiate one day from another.
As I was travelling on a back road out of Peterborough, a surprising
shrinking moment was created when the space shrank way too much between a
German Shepherd's teeth and my left buttocks. No damage done and a
fascinating memory is now mine.
But for the most part, shrinking space has allowed me to experience some
wonderful exchanges with curious Canadians. As yet, I do not tire of
speaking with people about my trip, since they approach me in their own
Jane's ears are now in working order. She was able to fly to Ontario where
she will be touring Ottawa and most of my Quebec route with me. It's nice
to share the experience of her new vision of Canada as we travel easter and
Arriving in Ottawa has been an exhilaration of re-uniting with relatives
unseen for at least 8 years. Jane & I are spending some vacation time in
Ottawa with my Uncle Ray and Auntie Beulah Aubin, with the occasional
hand-off to my cousin Diane and her family: Mark, Elise and Merike Vist.
The airport scene with cousin Lori was quite entertaining as she popped in
for 4 minutes on a stopover that had the entire family out to see her.
Uncle Ray treated me to his bicycle companionship for a couple of travel
days. Cousin Maureen courageously crossed the busy road to welcome me to
Ottawa. Cousin Diane and her friend Elizabeth chose to challenge themselves
by running into Ottawa with me over 27k. Neither of them had ever run
further than 11k. They surprised themselves as they shrank the space
between impossible and possible.
I enjoyed a brief visit with Herb Gray, the Deputy Prime Minister in the
Parliament Buildings as I arrived in Ottawa. Turns out Mr. Gray is
responsible to the Millennium Bureau, but I did not know that until we were
introduced in his office. I chose to celebrate instead of interrogate, so
it was a pleasant meeting.
The autumn colours are coming early due to the dry summer in this area. But
it's a hearty wilderness so we choose to enjoy its beauty instead of
worrying if it will be all right. The nights are no longer warm and I don't
see many other Canadians doing any tenting lately. It's like someone threw
the autumn switch and "BAM! Welcome to the chillies!".
If I had one, autumn would be my favourite season. The bugs are retired.
It's cool temperatures through the day. The traffic is sparse to minimal.
It all reminds me of the endless cycles of life. It's just so darned fleeting.
This entire trip is so darned fleeting. My whole life is fleeting. It all
seems to go by so quickly. Even a foot tour across Canada seems to last no
longer than a lightning bolt. All the planning, preparation and travelling
seems to have occurred in a single moment.
Since I cannot slow it down, I will cherish as many "nows" as I am able. Is
there any other way to enjoy life?
The opening quote talks about life's cycles as a dance. I've never been
much of a dancer, but I am beginning to feel the rhythm of life as I am out
in the world living with it.
I hope this update finds you in the midst of celebrating your own dance,
enjoying your rushing torrent and living the life that is the highest good
Shrink the space between us.
Cherish it all.
(thanks to Gordon Ngock, the famous quote finder of Vancouver for
submitting this week's quote)
Previous Journal Entries
|September 4, 1999
||Vacation Time in Toronto, ON
|August 13, 1999
||Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Toronto, ON
|August 4, 1999
||Wawa, ON to Sault Ste. Marie, ON
|July 23, 1999
||Ignance, ON to Wawa, ON
|June 30, 1999
||Kenora, ON to Ignance, ON
|June 21, 1999
||Winnipeg, MB to Kenora, ON
|June 11, 1999
||Brandon, MB to Winnipeg, MB
|June 3, 1999
||Regina SK to Brandon, MB
|May 21, 1999
||Gull Lack SK to Regina SK
|May 11, 1999
||Medicine Hat AB to Gull Lake SK
|May 4, 1999
||Fort Macleod AB to Medicine Hat AB
|April 23, 1999
||Cranbrook BC to Fort Macleod AB
|April 15, 1999
||Grand Forks BC to Cranbrook BC
|April 4, 1999
||Osoyoos BC to Grand Forks BC
|March 28, 1999
||Hope BC to Osoyoos BC
|March 21, 1999
||Vancouver BC to Hope BC
|Pre-Trip - Jan 26 - March 15