October 3, 2017

     

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The mid seventies were spent on the road. Daniel had a nineteen sixty-two GMC van. The back was fitted out with a bunk. Just enough room for the two of us. And a dog named Satan. A mongrel with high intelligence and wholly devoted to Daniel. The three of us travelled West. Roaming the prairies north and south. Stopped in at the RCMP Museum in Regina. After a wee puff we went in for a tour. Delightful experience with opportunity to learn much about the Mounties and their place in Canadian history.

Then to Alberta. We took time to visit with Daniel's parents. His father welcomed us at the door. Said it was wonderful to see us. Wondered when we would be leaving. A jovial fellow. Both Daniel and his father smoked pipe tobacco. They would sit on opposite sides of the couch. Each with pipe in hand while slouched over the couch armrest. One of the few things they had in common.

After half a week we set out for the Rocky Mountains. An incredible ride. Majesty on all sides. Sometimes picking up hitch-hikers. Hearing and telling stories about ourselves and our worlds. Evenings were spent around camp fires. My guitar coming out. Strumming tunes of peace and justice. Sipping tea and eating bannock. All nicely seasoned by the occasional puff.

Coming down from the mountains we entered British Columbia. Earned a bit of money picking fruit in orchard country. Met folk and shared quality times. There is rich opportunity for learning in the entertainment of diverse perspectives. Young persons from all places were breaking with the past to explore possibilities for the future. A counter culture of sorts. Animated by songs of resistance, justice and peace. Preferring life's simple pleasures experienced in the company of others. This sensibility increasing as we approached the Lower Mainland and made our way into Vancouver. We discovered multiple sources of food and other needed resources. All without charge. A genuine practice of an alternative economy. The hopes of a new generation taking form as the common good. Which was resisted and refused by the prevailing social structures. With the passive consent of the general population.

After a while in Vancouver we boarded a ferry to Vancouver Island. There we spent mystical evenings parked under canopies of giant Redwoods. We explored beaches and made sculptures with stones, driftwood and other found materials. Built them at low tide. Stepped back to watch them washed away at high tide. A visible manifestation of how time comes but does not stay. We are born, live and pass away. There is beauty and truth in this. For those with eyes to see.