Thursday, 30 May 2013

Empty Hours

Not every road day is a good one. Sometimes they go wrong, not just for the obvious reasons of weather, road and rest, but for other not so visible reasons. On the other hand, even a bad road day is still better than sitting around waiting to die. So perhaps I should use the terms good and great. Yesterday was like that, not a great road day.

The road itself was drearily wet with the spring monsoons of BC. There may have been sun somewhere, but it wasn't showing itself in central BC. The drive from Cache Creek to Prince George follows the Fraser River, using the route first cut through the bush by the Cariboo Gold Rush miners in the early 1860's, past Williams Lake, the drainage point for Williams Creek where Billy Barker struck gold in 1862, and onward north with the Caribou ranchlands on the right and the high Chilcotin plateau on the left, across the river.

From Prince George the Hart Highway wanders its way north, slowly rising towards the Continental Divide at Summit Lake, leaping up to Pine Pass and then following the Pine River through its mountain gorge and into its lazy valley as it winds its way to the Peace River at Dawson Creek. This water makes its way north, out of the eastern Rockies, through the Mackenzie River system, ultimately draining to the Beaufort Sea.

Chetwynd, where I stopped for the night, is one of the many one industry towns in central and northern BC. It follows the standard one horse town plan, with the highway running through the middle, a parallel road on each side hosting the one or two restaurants and hotels that service local industry and the tourist trade. It's the kind of town where the hotels have laser printed signs on the doors asking loggers to take off their muddy caulk boots before entering the lobby, a rough and ready town with the ever present mill or mine.

The road was the road; that's all. The unfortunate part of this is when the road does not distract, when the road goes for mile after mile with easy turns and nothing but the odd ranch house to force my attention, I get to thinking. Thinking is not always a good thing and on the road I often think about my marriage. Carla and I shared a love of road trips; we both loved the exploration of new places and unseen sights. Road trips were some of our best times; they were also some of our worst times as we fought over the cost of motels and meals.

With empty vacant hours, the easy road winding by, I think about the woman I once loved, and probably still do love in some way. Do we ever stop loving those we once loved? A scene on the road, a sight on the mountainside, a meadow demanding a picnic; I know she would have loved this drive. I think about what I did wrong, what I might have done differently. Could I have worked harder, been more patient, given more, waited longer for change to come? Why couldn't I make it work? Why was I such a bad husband, so poor at being the kind of loving, easy to live with man she wanted me to be?

There is the road. The road, the road, the road; leading me onward, carrying me upward into the empty hours. The empty hours are the worst hours.


  1. Stop that Richard , you are and were not a bad man or a bad husband or a bad father which will come next.
    love darling.

  2. Self-condemnation is a specialty of mine. :)

  3. I think you look at this the wrong way - no one was wrong or right. It just was. Sometimes things change and don`t work the way they did or don`t work as you or someone else need them to work. No one is to blame. No one did anything wrong.

  4. Is it self-condemnation or is it the conviction of your heart and of the Holy Spirit? Is it sincere repentance that leads to redemption? Salvation in a spiritual sense is the restoration of the broken relationship between God and humans. There cannot be restoration of the broken relationship without forgiveness from God and repentance from humans. Similarly, salvation can also be the reconciliation between people in broken relationships. In people relationships, though, it usually require forgiveness and repentance from both parties to restore the relationship, since humans are imperfect. Usually it cannot be done by the couple themselves, else they wouldn't be in their predicament. But many times it is easier for friends to just take sides than to be the peacemaker that helps the couple restore their broken relationship. But real question is, why are you really feeling the way you do?