Sunday, July 18, 2010

how near, how far, how near boy, tell me how far.....

I'm on a train cruising through the outskirts of Montreal on the way to Belleville. It's still quite light out but you can tell its getting to be softer light, evening light. I'm listening to Cinematic Orchestra and every so often I can hear the train blowing its arrival. The old churches and 100 year old brick apartment buildings are thinning out and I'm beginning to glide through forest and field and rivers and small town gas stations that pop up along the tracks. The corn is almost as tall as the young trees already out here and the light catching their tops as they bend towards the train in the wind is stunning.

So far this week, I've been in Fort McMurray, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal and have had no access to internet in the past 5 where do I begin? Maybe I'll just give a few highlights. A week ago Patrick and I were camping in the middle of a gorgeous forest outside Ft McMurray. I loved it despite the off and on weather and it was such a beautiful way to be just the two of us for a few days before his new job and my new job keep us apart for 6 months. After that I came home and packed and K-fern came a took me to the airport the next morning. I appreciated it because it's a pain to get the shuttle to the airport and its expensive to take a taxi or leave my car for two weeks but most of all, it's just nice to hang out with her on the way there and so I left Edmonton feeling good.
I spent 3ish days in Winnipeg, and there were lots of good moments but I think the best was when I met up with Jamie after her night class and we went out for supper at Stella's. The food we ordered was great and we drank and talked and enjoyed each others company until we were the only people left in the place, until the waitress asked us to settle up, until they started mopping under our feet. We then made our way home in the humid, Winnipeg night and fell asleep with Jayda the cat purring between us.
In Montreal I saw Geneva, who I haven't seen in a long long time. In years. I fell in love with the city immediately. It rained a lot. Probably every few hours. It would be hot and sunny and beautiful and then you'd hear a peel of thunder and you would hardly have time to run to any kind of shelter before it POURED for 20-30 minutes. A lot of Geneva and I's exploring was interrupted by this weather and we spent a lot of time hovering in the doorways of businesses and bus stations and bars. On friday night we went to a few bars in Old Montreal and found one we really liked. St Paul Pub is just a door on the street but it opened up into a beautiful second floor pub with window seats over the port and the street. Margaret was our server and was super sweet. We came back to that place this afternoon and spent most of our time drinking Creemore and watching the street below with the place mostly to ourselves.

And now I'm on the train to Belleville to spend some time with the Kerbys. I really love the train and I'm really loving Quebec and so it makes me really happy to be rounding out this week sliding across this landscape with this beautiful, soft light. These are the moments that I wish I could take everyone I love and share this with them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

and when you let go i will let go too...

JULY 10, 2010

We’re in Gregoire Lake Provincial Park. We came to stay two nights. This may have been a mistake. Yesterday we were still in the beautiful Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park (an island in the middle of Lac La Biche). By 9 am there, we were in swimsuits and flipflops, thinking about having an ice cream and walking along the beach. We stayed only one night there. That WAS a mistake. We got to Gregoire about an hour before the rain, stepping out of our car and changing hurridly into warmer pants and sweaters. The tent was set up on the only available surface, gravel. Patrick jimmied up a tarp over the table with what little rope we had and a stick from the dense forest surrounding us. The trees are mostly poplar. Reaching bare white bodies into the sky until a scraggly mass of braches and leaves decorate its top and make them sway dangerously in the slightest wind. When the rain came it poured angry, giant drops and creating rivers and ponds under our tent before the clouds started to break apart twenty minutes later. I used the back of the axe to dig trenches away from the largest lakes under our tent. After the skies cleared, the wind picked up and it continued to rain from the leaves at the tops of the birches waving in the wind. The fire was doused by the rain, the remaining wood wet, so Patrick and I crouched at the table under the tarp playing rook until it was too dark to see. Then we took cover in the tent and read Emily Carr by flashlight until we were too tired to talk.
Today the rain came off and on between breakfast and the early afternoon when we decided to take a nap and ended up sleeping through most of the only sun we’ve seen here so far. I woke up warm from the humidness of the tent and went to put on shorts. Patrick is gone to collect our daily allowance of wood, “only two buckets night, only available from 5 to 9 and don’t park in front of the gate”, and I’m watching the clouds swirling past those swaying birches trying to calculate how much time we have before it rains again. Blue Rodeo is playing out from my speakers and over it I hear the wind making its way to me through the underbrush. When it hits me, it’s cooler than I expected. Patrick drives into our site and starts to unload the firewood. Time to put jeans back on and pull things back under the shelter of the tarp.