As I sit here and ponder over what I want this post to be about I have just returned from another trip up north, this time to the Killarney region, if your unfamiliar with, google it, it’s worth the trip there. From the shear power of Georgian Bay, the wetlands of wilderness area and forest to the quartzite ridges of the La Cloche Mountains. The entire areas is breath-taking. Tracy and I enjoyed a five day trip there split between, car camping, communal living and of coarse canoe-camping(my fav!) Between the hikes and canoe travel and car ride it’s taken a couple days to recover, in a good way. More about the trip later…
It’s places like this that can really make me take stock of my life and what I want it to look like going forward. Given my palliative diagnosis sometimes I take a look at these places and think,”Will this be the last chance I get to see this?” In most of my posts I try to show a positive image of what a cancer patient looks like, but I’ll tell it’s not always like this. When I’m up surrounded by nature and it’s so peaceful I get to look inside and see what I’m made of, a lot of these treks are tough work and at the end of the day a sense of pride in the accomplishment. In all that peace at the end of the day though, that’s when the anxious thoughts creep in and the knowledge of my stage IV cancer takes over. If it wasn’t for the sheer exhaustion from the long days effort, sleep would be hard to come by.
I look over these pictures and it seems to resemble my life the last year and bit, when you look from a distance the water appears calm and still, but as you get closer a take and take a good look it’s full of giant waves, unpredictable swells, constantly rising and falling, no clear picture of what to expect next, completely unknown, dangerous and unforgiving.
All my life I’ve been drawn to the water, so it seems proper I use it as a metaphor to describe how life feels a lot of the time. Calm for while, easy to navigate and swim, the next moment the wind stirs the water up and I’m doing every thing I can to make it to the safety of shore. As far back as I can remember it’s been in my life, whether my own pool, the cottage, paddling my canoe/kayaks, boat, water has been a constant. Now as I find myself in the back country more and more searching for my true meaning and why I’m here and will remain here, I start to get it. Water will be part of my life for as long as it lasts, and using it as metaphor makes sense, I’m very comfortable in the water, it doesn’t scare me and I can navigate it for a long while, just like the cancer causing unpredictable times for the rest of my time. I will get comfortable navigating it as well, there’s no real fighting it, I just can’t allow myself to drown and I’m a strong swimmer if need be, and will always make it to the safety of shore. Only to be back out to test the waters, over and over again, because without risk there can be no reward. If you can see the island off in the distance in the picture above I plan to cross the bay to get out there in my canoe, alone. Like dealing with cancer, it will take careful planning and execution to pull it off successfully. Bank on me doing it!!! Cheers and much love.