the road behind                                       the road ahead


My winter road trip from Ottawa to B.C. is delayed a week by 1) a horrible head cold, 2) the death of my laptop, and 3) a new on-site writing assignment – I’ll need the fee to cover the cost of my computer repair as well as gas for the cross-country journey.

When I finally hit the highway, I feel a little tumbleweed of ecstasy building in the centre of my being as the road stretches out before me. As always, it is calling me. I’m aware of my smile widening uncontrollably across my face. There’s nothing like being alone in the car – just me and the Universe as I sketch myself across this little strip of asphalt winding with possibility over the planet.

The road is clear and dry and there are only scratches of snow on the shoulders. Little jagged shining holes of brilliant blue pierce the grey white clouds in the December sky like some kind of hope. The bright white winter sun gilds the edges of the clouds as it sinks quickly in the early afternoon.

To avoid the boring and dangerous Highway 401 that passes through Toronto, I choose to travel on the back roads of Ontario and pick up the Express Toll Road around the city (which will eventually cost me more than $30 — they snap a photo of your licence plate and send the bill in the mail).

I arrive at my friends’ home near London at dinner time. The “real” journey begins tomorrow.