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.