Waking up this morning, looking over the ocean directly across to the bay I had left, felt like a relief. Funny, yesterday afternoon I decided to come to Salt Spring and ground out, before beginning my adventure up North of the big island.
Sometimes you have to be put into an uncomfortable situation to realize that you were safe all along. I arrived on the island, and went straight down to one of my favourite spots to park and camp out. It’s a still bay nestled in-between two mountains. a good couple handfuls of people have made their homes in their boats. And I went down by the water to let Jeremiah smell the salty air of the ocean, while I reflected on the last few years of my life.
As I listened to crunch of the rocks while I walked along the sea side, I began to hear a man singing to himself in his boat. He slowly approached, I could see his grey hair had melded into his beard. His dog was alert, and I suddenly felt a feeling of fear. I was on a beach, alone, I had decided to leave my phone behind. I thought to myself, I have my keys and I can use a stone or a branch to defend myself if need be. Jeremiah must have picked up on my anxiety, boy am I glad to have a hound dog. He growled and howled and went into protection mode. The man just laughed at him and mocked his undeveloped howl.
He hopped off his dingy and started to ask me questions about my hound, and how old he was etc. I apologized for his growling and told him he was in protection mode. I couldn’t get a good look at the man’s face until a few minutes into chatting, as he was foraging firewood for his boat. Then I realized, “HEY, I know you!!!” HA! Fuck, I’ve known this man for years. It was old Steven! The guy that’s lived on his boat in the bay longer than anyone. I knew him because of my former relationship with a guy that knew everyone. I’ve realized now that he was always a good guy, and I feel sorry for bashing him, but grateful for the ability to use his name when people forget how they know me around here. It’s a good name to drop now.
We let the dogs run around and I kind of caught up with him briefly, in the way we always have, in this strange passing of time that always makes me question what time really is anyways. Then he said something that stuck with me, “Oh right, your that beautiful girl that’ll always be a teenager.” Fuck man, really? “So where’d ya go?” I pointed to the other side of the water “Just to the other side man” Funny. “Oh you were just hiding out for awhile?”…Ha if only you knew. “ Somethin’ like that”.
Maybe I was just hiding out for awhile.
I walked down the dock after, to the edge, where I imagined a sea lion, or a mermaid, hopping out and taking me under into the black depths. Then I returned to my van and retired for the night.
I woke up and felt my head reeling in thought. I decided to read a little bit, a book I had read already, but enjoyed enough, The Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman. My thoughts started to get in the way, so I changed out the book for a sketch pad a pen. I chose light green, and began to doodle leaves and roots, then I started writing a poem, then Jeremiah started to get restless and I decided it was time to pack up and head out.
I know Im on the right path when I start running into people, this morning it was Jeremiah’s older hound brother Sebastian! Whom we never had the chance to meet, but he was from the litter before Jeremiah! Only 8 months older, Jeremiah came from a guy trying to run a puppy mill. Sebastian had Jeremiah’s exact face, but his body was twice the size!!! I was amazed and so happy to see my boy is gonna keep growing!!! They did their hound thing and it was so heartwarming to see another Redbone Coonhound.
I must say, since I’ve started living in my van and gone back to all this one and one time with my dog. We have bonded more, and I swear I know what he’s thinking and saying. We sleep together, we eat and drink together, we pee outside together, and he never strays too far from me. Unlike most hound dogs, they will run off and chase things, but Jeremiah won’t stray far. He’s a mama’s boy. And it’s gonna break my fuckin heart when it’s his time to go, but I’m giving him the best life a dog could dream of. Constant adventure. New smells. Lots of treats. And unconditional love. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.
We exchanged contacts and agreed to go for a hike soon. And now here I am, writing at my favourite spot down in Fulford. Just ate a huge breakfast and now Im going to go hike up a mountain.
Life is grand.