Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Those Who Stay On Land

Canada Day, the unofficial start to summer in Canada. It is a warm day here in Calgary, the horizon a gauze of white shading off to the blue sky that rises so high above me. There is no breeze today, no wind to move the heat about. It will be warm today, pleasantly warm, the dog days of summer yet a month or so away. Over the next few weeks the days will get hotter, sunny skies interrupted only by the occasional passing shower. It will be outdoor weather, camping weather, picnic weather.

I am not sure how I really know this. After all, each Calgary summer in the past I have escaped to my boat, to spend weeks on the water, drifting up and down the coast of BC. This is my first summer without that dream, without that vision of me on board, living the vagabond life, moving from port to port, from island to island, from bay to bay. This is my first summer on dry land, without a deck moving beneath my feet and wind filling my sails.

It will be a busy summer for me, regardless. Mom and Ray are here for this week, I have weddings to attend this coming weekend and the weekend following. The Calgary Stampede starts in a few days, a 10 day riot of western culture, a paean to overindulgence. It will be a 10 day party, a bacchanal for many, hangovers being emblematic of workdays. I might take in a party or two, the odd Stampede breakfast.

Two weeks from today I am going down to the coast. While I cannot sail it, I certainly can visit it. More importantly I can visit my children and grandchildren, watching Rose play in the pool, holding newborn Quinn, taking Charlotte fishing. Shortly after that there will be another road trip, probably to the States with a friend, most likely for a week or so. At the end of August, Meaghan and family will come visit for a couple of days.

Then summer will be suddenly over, a summer on land, a summer without a boat; my first in a long time. It will be different. I will be one of the normal people, those who stay on land.

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