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one more sleep

I am a pot-bound plant, ripping myself up by the roots; I can feel them tearing as I scratch things off my list. Finished teaching two classes on Monday and one today, finished editing several last-minute student essays, suitcase nearly packed, plants watered, bird-feeder full, everyone contacted, papers cancelled, fridge nearly cleared, on and on. Roots, ripping. Painful and exhausting as it is, it’s a good thing too.

Tomorrow night, late, I begin a journey of more than seven thousand kilometres and more than twelve hours. At the other end, my dear friend Bruce and the Prado and the great unknown that is Spain. And meanwhile, spring is dawning here, snow vanishing, days milder and brighter. Great joy for a Canadian – heard the first geese this morning, flying home. Welcome back, you great honking beasts.
Another Canadian sight today – a vast transport truck pulling backwards out of the narrow driveway behind No Frills, a very tricky manoeuvre, and when I got close, I saw that the trucker managing this particular great honking beast was an elderly Sikh, in a saffron turban, with a long grey beard. Not the usual donut-dunkin’ Canuck trucker.
Tonight, I watched “Alone in the wilderness,” a PBS documentary about Dick Proenneke, who single-handedly built himself a cabin in the remote wilderness of Alaska and lived in it for 30 years. Somehow he videotaped himself cutting down and dragging in logs, constructing the cabin log by log, roofing, hunting and fishing – utterly alone except for a friend who flew in once a month or so with supplies. Perhaps he had a short-wave radio, though he didn’t mention or show it. No telephone, electricity, running water, no one to talk to, especially through the long winter months – he didn’t even mention reading. He snow-shoed, canoed, hiked many miles, and was extremely lean and fit. When he wanted a bowl, he cut a burl from a tree and hollowed out a bowl.
Certainly, as I stuff my e-reader into my suitcase, my sleeping pills and high-heeled shoes for fancy meals – food for thought, about what we actually need.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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