I leave my daughter searching for jobs in Vancouver and I hit the road again on the second day of summer.

I feel teary-eyed the evening before I leave, knowing I won’t see my daughter again unless I make a trip back out to Vancouver at the end of the summer. We sit on the Esplanade in North Vancouver, looking out over the harbour, sharing a medium fries from McDonald’s. She asks me to phone her at 9 in the morning to make sure she’s up to get ready for a job interview.

In the middle of the night, I wake up with my iPod still playing a lengthy meditation by Swami Satyananada Saraswati I often listen to to help me sleep. I look at the time on the tiny screen. It’s 9:45! I call my daughter, who isn’t up yet. It’s nearly 10, I tell her, realizing I’d better get up myself as I have a long drive to the Kootenays today.

Then I pick up my cell phone and notice the clock says 6:45! My iPod is still on Ottawa time. I’m unable to reach my daughter – she’s probably in the shower by now. How stupid is that! I fall back into bed for more sleep and finally reach my daughter on the phone: “You can go back to bed!”

For once, it’s a hot sunny day and Bryan Adams’ Unplugged drives me through the Coquihalla Pass and Van Morrison takes me into the Kootenays. I am lost in my memories of these roads that have taken me to places and to people of another time.

As I disembark from the ferry at Galena, and begin driving south, twilight folds over the interior and a mist sifts through the primordial scene. The lonely road is ever more winding, a broken silver moon hangs above the snow-capped peaks and the dark pines, deer and elk loom out of the rolling fog, barely startled to see me pass. A moose intent on feeding doesn’t even look up from the roadside pool where it is foraging for something at the bottom. I am entirely alone in the world, awed by the untouched beauty of the raging brooks and the still blue mountains.

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