Emerging from a over 35 hours of car travel and a few hours of overnight rest at two motels along the way, the process gave me a lot of time to think before arriving at my destination. The longest Twila and I stopped was to pump gas, eat some quick snacks while waiting for our gas tank to fill, and switch roles between driver and passenger.
The open road has a mystical quality about it. After enough hours driving through a stretch of National forest in Michigan or the straight highways of North Dakota that cut through the prairie landscape, I was lulled into a travel trance. You’re aware enough to acknowledge your surroundings but feel hazy passing through a constant stream of small towns.
I open wide the road atlas and peruse the intricate arterial a system of roads that connect all these communities. It’s amazing how I am able to access them just by driving far away from my front door. While I am living in my sphere of existence back in Edmonton, there are all these pockets of communities doing the exact same thing. It is something we are aware of but I was reminded of it these past few days. It gives one a real sense of freedom.
However, there are jolts back to reality when there are reminders from a world back at home that continues even while you are gone. No matter far how far one travels, the homeland does not relinquish its grip. I had such a reminder last night. Upon arriving back into Canada and connected back with cellular reception on my phone. I noticed a missed call from my sister. I returned the call. She informs me that our almost 20 year old cat, Milo, had passed away.
Their grief was palpable to me over the phone line. I did not expect my home life to become more vivid as I drove further away. Milo was the guardian of our house and garden. As I soak up the amazing music and atmosphere here at Mariposa, I remember those who are still at home, and my feline friend who has enjoyed many wonderful years with us.