Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the way in

One year ago today, I was boarding a little plane, to get to Toronto, to board a slightly larger plane, on which I flew to Ottawa, to travel to Iqaluit on a still larger plane, at which point, I was snowed in for 3 days in a lonely hotel room before boarding a little plane headed for Resolute Bay.

It's good to notice these dates, these signposts along the way marking how far I've come. It's good to turn around every once in a while to see where I've been, how I got here. Often the way back looks so different than it did on the way in.

I spent the better part of six months looking out from the same vantage point on the front steps of the hotel: south, to the Northwest Passage, to Griffith Island, and on a clear day, all the way to Somerset Island. When I joined a sewing class during my first few weeks in the North, it was this view that I pieced together out of felt. I'd never (yet) seen a polar bear, or a whale, so I created what I had seen— snow, ice, stratus clouds, landforms, watercolour horizons.

When I was in Halifax last fall, one of my closest friends—a brother in spirit— and I went for a long walk around the city, and wound up on a wooded point looking out to the open end of the harbour. We had tiny bottles of red wine, and we sat on a picnic table and talked and looked out over the water while the night crept in around us. I can still hear him singing as we watched a long white ocean liner coming in: "Look out mama, there's a white boat coming up the river."

A few weeks ago, I was on a rambling, backroads, Sunday afternoon road trip. We were up around Georgian Bay, in the Blue Mountains of the Niagara escarpment, near a tiny crossroads village called Raven. We tried to take a picture, but it's a fool's errand to try to capture something magical on a two-inch LCD screen. The view was of the drop of an old shore line, miles and miles from where the water starts today, the trees and houses and towns inclining towards the bay, covered in ice and snow, until a sudden line of blue signaled open water spreading out and out and out, further than we could see. With the blue of distance so deep below and the early spring clouds above, we could have touched the sky on a Sunday afternoon.

There is so much to be grateful for. Looking around reminds me of that. The past year has been one of impossible growth, and stretching, and learning, and parting, and joy. A lot of joy. Looking back at what may have been my best year yet, I feel ready for what's to come— though I can't see it yet.

1 comment:

ronda said...

beautiful meg...can't believe it's been a year. when you embrace the joy and remember the lessons, you cannot fail as you move forward. much love to you.