June 23, 2001
Left the house at 10:30. Talked to my daughter before I left. Stopped in Ogdensburg for gas and lunch. The girl at the gas station told me she wanted to hear about my trip when I got back. I’m a little apprehensive today but I know I have to do this. The first two weeks will be an adjustment. I remember the beginning of my Poland trip. Scared out of my mind but it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
When I took the turn from my country road onto the main highway, much of my stuff went flying across the back of my van. I need to rearrange my things so they don’t become projectiles every time I make a sudden stop. I am expanding my world but everyday mundane things still have to be ordered and organized in my little van/tent world.
I’m staying in Ottawa, Canada for a few days visiting my friend, M.. The day is rainy and gray. I stopped at Canadian Tire and bought her a beautiful pink rose bush. The flowers were in clusters, graceful like a plant in a Japanese garden. M. is a high school teacher but has the vision and the soul of an artist. Her life is her canvas and she creates lovely environments. She lives with R., an outdoor enthusiast. I was so happy to see them. They know the true meaning of hospitality and kindness. It was a great way to start my trip. She and R. have transformed their combination dining room/ living room into a warm nest of colors from Southwestern paintings. The walls are the color and texture of the rusty rock formations in Sedona, Arizona. And the floors and furniture glow in honey browns all fitting together like a completed puzzle of a desert sunset. We shared a delicious steak dinner and wine.
One purpose of getting away alone is to resolve a lifelong issue, the balance between sticking up for myself and being a good person. Confidence and kindness. Is it the world that is the problem or is it me? I feel strength but many times I sell myself short. Will I figure this out? I have 70 days to find out.