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North Sydney, Nova Scotia
The streets are alive with the sound of Christmas! The
decorations are going up. Trucks are whizzing by loaded
down with Christmas trees, and there's no mistaking
that soon the magic day will be here.
Yet still , I plod along... Like always...
Since Moncton, I've visited PEI, Nova Scotia and Cape
Breton Island. It's been 500k of all possible weather
situations and it's now time to leave continental
North America for the last leg of the journey.
Moncton rolled out the red. Plenty of special folks
there that made me feel at home. I even got a personal
tour of the city by Councillor Kathryn Barnes. Thanks
to Susan Killam and her team for making Moncton a very
special memory. If you're ever visiting there, be sure
to stay at Rodd's Park House Inn and say Hi to Art
Powell for me.
Andrea MacDonald, Deputy Mayor Roger Birt and David
Rooper made sure I had a sweet visit in Charlottetown.
Thanks to City Hall and the Best Western for all their
support. The Best Western again has set me up cozy
here on my last piece of Province #9 in North Sydney.
I may be travelling solo, but I'm not alone!
In fact, I've been speaking with bushels of people
across this great country. Some folks tell me that
Newfoundland in December will be the harshest ordeal
of the trip. Some went so far as to warn me, "Watch
out for the wind!". I'm left wondering "how" to "watch
out for wind". What kind of advice is that? Surely
well-meaning, but what can I actually DO about it?
My wise Mom recently told me she doesn't worry about
me as I run across Canada. She's concerned, but she
doesn't worry. She explains that "worry" keeps you up
at night, where "concern" is simply something like
"active caring". This still leaves some question about
"active caring", but at least I know she's not up at
To listen to some people I've met, you'd think they
must be up at night about a lot of things. It may
surprise you to learn that one of the frequently asked
questions I get is "Have you ever been robbed?" To me,
that question is so far removed from my reality to be
equivalent to "Have you ever set yourself on fire?" or
"Did you ever swallow your tent?" None of these issues
are worrying or concerning me...
After finally reading Henry Gallant's book "The Walk"
about the first ever walk across Canada, it's hard to
believe we both travelled the same country. He did his
trip in 1967 as a centennial celebration. If you were
to compare our two trips, mine is a luxury yacht
cruise and his is a one oared rowboat with a hole in
the bottom and being attacked by flaming arrows the
whole way. HE was robbed, assaulted, arrested, ignored
in times of trouble and his camp was besieged almost
regularly by bear and moose. But he made it. And he
claims it was the highlight of his life. (We tried to
meet while I was in PEI, but we had to settle for a
phone chat). He didn't seem to worry much...
What makes us seem to be "people who worry" in spite
of the incredible level of luxurious living we're
engaged in? Have we become spoiled by luxuries and
subsequently ignorant of real challenges only to
replace them with imagined ones?
I'm not worried about Newfoundland. The only thing I'm
concerned about is making it on time. But with the
recent Indian Summer in Cape Breton, I have added 2
extra days to my previous 4 insurance days. I can be
tent bound for 6 days if necessary and still make New
Year's Eve by doing a very manageable 35k per day. No
In fact, since I do not seem to be kept up at night by
anything, I guess I have no worries at all. But
there's lots of things I care about. Actively. Too
many to mention, so relax, no list will follow...
A friend from Toronto, Sonja Hoyte-Dancey, sent me
this "origin challenged" quote:
"Dance like no one's watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt;
Sing like no one's listening,
Live like it's heaven on earth!"
This quote says "Don't worry, seize your day!" and it
has helped me yip for joy along the highway. Maybe
you'll get something out of it, too.
As if I was to be rewarded for completing 9 provinces,
I just today received confirmation from the "Debut
2000" people in St. John's that I will be included in
the 3 hour televised ceremony. I have a 2 minute slot
around 10:15 (NFLD Time) to deliver my greetings from
all across Canada. Hope you've sent your postcards!
I don't know what's to come in Newfoundland, but
whatever it is, it will work out. Things always work
Don't let worry get in your way, or be a part of your
nights. Let your life flow. Like it's heaven on earth!
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