I really have been meaning to post the last of the Tofino photos. It’s been nearly three weeks, and it’s not like I’ve been busy. Yet so much has happened that I feel like I need to add a disclaimer— these are from a while ago, I have actually been staying at home, practicing appropriate social distancing! I think of how life has changed in just a few weeks.
Yet I realize that my reluctance has an obvious root. Once these pictures are on my Facebook page, there will not be any new travel photos for a while.
My trip to Costa Rica in April? Canceled. England in May? Canceled. June in Brussels, Germany, Switzerland and France? Canceled. Montreal in July and Ottawa in August? Canceled. The expedition to the Arctic and Greenland between those two Canadian destinations? Canceled. September in Taiwan? Not yet canceled, but not confirmed, either.
I have had to redefine myself in the last year and a half, and much of my new sense of self has been about traveling. My new condo in the city was supposed to be a base I occasionally touched, not my location, 23 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Yet I am so fortunate. It may be smaller than I am used to, but it is safe, warm, and not at all precarious. The Internet may slow occasionally, but I have it to connect to family, friends and information, all around the world. My cupboards are full of food, my shelves full of books. My area is handling the COVID-19 crisis, at this moment, about as well as anywhere.
My blog? It has never really been about the physical travel. So many other people do that so much better than me. It has simply been my reflections, often prompted by where I am in the world at that moment, but not limited by that.
So I stay at home, and every night at 7 pm I go out on the balcony and beat my deer hide drum in honour of the front line health workers. The drum was made by the partner of my Nuxalk friend, Wilma. I haven’t seen her since I left Bella Coola, 20 years ago, and we haven’t been in contact for over a decade. I think perhaps I will try to find her again, reconnect and let her know how much she meant to me, when I was young and new in town and she was my first friend there.
Brave travels don’t always need to be going forward.
Stay safe, everyone.