“What a joy, to travel the way of the heart.” Rumi
Yesterday, I gave in to my nomadic ways and headed over to the East Side to check in at my old place of work, a local recycling company. It felt good to hop on the small shuttle bus ( located at the bus loop near the “Sylvia Hotel”) and allow myself to be absorbed by the city. This route to “Recycling Alternative”, took me down Davie St. (the village of ), then into Vancouver’s famous Yaletown area, past B.C. Place stadium (where I was amazed to see so many new condo builds!) and a quick intro to the edges of Chinatown and on to the Station St. stop (at the bus/train depot and Skytrain platform). With just a quick walk, I was on my way to meet up with my Australian work friend Amanda, spend some time with the owners, Louise & Rob (hugs included!), greet other work mates and have some quality cat time with the “warehouse” cats, ChiChi and Sammi.
There was a break in the relentless rain that has been falling on the West Coast these past few Winter weeks and the energy to get out of my small world was too hard to resist. I like nothing more than being on the move, experiencing and exploring a quiet forest or immersing myself in the hustle of city life. I come by my nomadic nature via a childhood of travel due to my father serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, we were wired to travel almost every two years, either in a posting to Europe (Germany) or a new Canadian province – sometimes (Dad has said) we would prompt him to request a posting because of our shared love of travel and living in new places!
Mexico has certainly been a good match for my nomadic tendencies, there is so much culture, colour, sounds and scents to take in – there was not one day that was not spent in exploring or tasting all that Mexico has to offer and after many years of doing just that, I am amazed that there are still mysteries and the ongoing normal day to day of Mexico to experience!
Journal Excerpt: November 10, 2000
I’m sitting at “Viva Cafe” on Lazaro Cardenas in P.V. having a blackcurrant tea and talking. We did our e-mails and plan to shop later for supper. Later tonight we plan to go down to the Malecon to the Los Arcos outdoor stage to listen to a band – they are part of the Art Festival and will play music by “Santana”. Should be fun!
An image I want to record before I forget – talking on F. Madero with a wonderful older Mexican man named Samuel. He was writing in an old notebook with very beautiful handwriting – I had to let him know that I admired it. He did not speak English and with my small Spanish, I learned that he is a songwriter. He sang parts of his newest song and showed me other songs in his book – this book was very precious to him, he also had clippings and pictures tucked near some of his songs. What a sweet man – as he showed me his songs, tears came to his eyes. He was happy that we understood each other, as he told me in Spanish, he had to go now to his casita (little house).
The above excerpt takes me back to that moment in time, I can see the two of us standing on that dusty street so far from the beach, he seeming to need some human connection and wanting to share part of his life with Terry and I – what gifts are waiting for all of us if only we open our hearts and selves to the nomadic life of travelling…
The List (for Monika)
1) Waking up to the sounds of the urban jungle; the first sound, the haunting call of the red-winged blackbird – by mid-day on a tall chestnut tree (that I’m lucky to see as I write at my desk) on Haro St. there will be 10-20 , all chattering and performing that same call.
2) Taking a recent morning walk down to Beach Ave. to check out the blooming cherry blossom tree (in mid-February!) that was shown on the local news station – it stands in front of a beautiful apartment building that is one of my favourites – there was a spring-like fragrance in the air and blossoms were gently falling in the pale sunlight.
3) After a sunshine filled walk on the seawall to the Brockton Oval totem poles, how nice to sit in the sun drinking the concession’s salted caramel hot chocolate anticipating the walk back home through the forest.
4) …and after one of those walks to the totem poles, discovering a favourite trail usually closed for the winter (near the children’s train area), open, for the provincial holiday for “Family Day” – it was so peaceful to walk this trail again and to see it’s Winter state, in the Summer it is so lush with greenery and the pond there full of frogs, on this mid-winter day I’m sure the frogs were hibernating as there was not one to be seen.
5) And lately making my way to my weekly evening yoga class with the ever present rain falling, knowing that candlelight and like minded students (and teacher) await!