A Pensive Walk in Grey County

I think this is the first time that I’m really feeling the season change.  It may be just coincidence that I’m in deep-thought mode while summer is turning to fall, but with the cooler crisp air and the leaves beginning to change I am taking a step back to see what I’m up to.  It’s also pretty interesting that I’ve been up high more than usual lately and the birds eye view of my surroundings is triggering some big thinking.

Dylan and I were treated to a sunset flight over Georgian Bay in a tiny 4-seater plane owned by one of Dylan’s friends.  Despite my rather embarrassing (sustainability-wise) history of frequent flying, this flight was different because I got a chance to fly over my own neighborhood, rather than the usual Toronto airport scenery, without disappearing into the clouds.  The contrast between seeing an expanse of land surrounding Georgian Bay, and knowing that what I was seeing is not even a pin prick on our globe, made me notice my heartbeat and a sent chill down my spine.  It’s a reoccurring feeling I get of being overwhelmed by the size of our planet and yet inspired to be a part of something bigger.

And it happened again while I was on a long, cloudy and cold walk yesterday.  I walked up out of the Beaver Valley to get first a view of the Beaver Valley, and then as I traveled further north I got a view of Geogian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment.  Pausing to breathe in the view, it was as though the breeze that puffed my hair off of my neck came from far away and whispered to me to come and do something bigger; be something greater.

Living back in my home country, and my home province at that, I’ve been feeling mediocre.  My work has slowed down this week (well, paid work that is….running a non-profit seems to have potential endless work, however the pay cheques are few and far between), and I’ve now been living in the Beaver Valley for 3 years.  I live with the love of my life and I have begun to build a network and some jobs here that are not easily walked away from.  While I don’t work the 9-5 lifestyle, there is still a sense of “normalcy” to my life that lacks excitement, big conversations and crazy dreams.  When I lived in Sweden with 65 people from around the world, we talked big.  We dreamed big.  And many of those people are still out there, circumnavigating the globe, drafting international policies, wearing organic cotton suits and owning homes.  And then there’s little me, helping people grow peas and taking them up and down the Beaver River in canoes.  It seems we are just living the simple life, eating veggies out of the garden, chatting with the neighbours, doing dishes and going to bed.  I intuitively don’t overwork myself, I actually don’t work very hard.  In university, I worked ridiculously hard to get my A’s, run marathons and make money, but when I caught on to what life’s truly about (not money or A’s), I seem to have entirely let go of my desire to overachieve.  Dylan told me the other night that I have a “lazy soul”.  He said “I am an Old Soul, and you are a Lazy Soul”.  I don’t quite know what to make of that just yet.

The big debate that takes place in my soul, likely seasonally, is “Am I meant I stay-put, in a culture that is home and make small changes that are hopefully effectively contributing to a larger difference, or should I put my gears in high, rubber to the road and work my brains out to be something, make some money and maybe get some award or something?” It’s probably obvious that I don’t know what I’m meant to do just yet, or what my path looks like.  I envy those people who have known their paths their whole lives: blacksmiths, artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, dancers etc.  Those people who’s parents said “Yes Betty, we’ll drive you to your sewing club because you are going to be a fabulous seamstress”, even though they desperately wanted Betty to be a heart surgeon.  At 28, I just feel like I’ve missed my prime to really excel in one field.  There’s no chance I’ll ever get to be on So You Think You Can Dance or to be Prime Minister.  I have taken one sad hip hop dance lesson and I barely understand what I’m voting for on October 6th.  Yes, I do know how to grow veggies, how to teach yoga and I am working against the grain to live sustainably (not working for the man for 40% of my life just to own a house, a car, a kid and a whole lot of stuff I don’t need but want because they temporarily fill a void in my life that runs much deeper than the power cord for my outdoor living room).  It’s a tough battle as my parents and others coast through life, indifferent to many things as they go to and from work, buy food from the grocery store, clothing from the mall and watch TV to mute the little voice inside that’s tsk-tsking as they “throw out” their bags of garbage, drive to pick up a dollar coffee with sugar and milk, buy plastic products made in china that will end up as tiny bits in the ocean, never to disintegrate, and as they push paper for 8 hours of their waking day in a meaningless game of buy and sell that operates on fear and false desires.

So, that’s where it ends every time, inconclusive, unclear and frustrating as a rubix cube for Dylan.

But the photo at the start of this post is what I gathered on my walk.  A very red maple leaf and some delicious “wild” apples and pears.  So I made applesauce in the crockpot.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cedar on October 14, 2011 at 1:47 am

    This is such a good post. In my opinion what you do, the way you live and think is something to be admired and aspire to. Maybe it’s not a lazy soul, but a peaceful soul that you have…and isn’t that what everyone should be striving for? Don’t doubt yourself…I just posted a quote recently that said: Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things. 🙂 Om shanti


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