After spending three weeks of hiking (135km in total) in the spectacular Patagonian landscape, traveling when my body said eat and eating when my body said sleep, getting up early daily to lurch from one must-see destination to another, and then spending over 17 hours sitting next to a guy on the plane half my size but seemingly requiring twice the space - I was a bit crispy by the time I got home. My wife was traveling elsewhere, so no one was here to greet me, but a friend did pick me up at the airport (past midnight) to provide door-to-door service on a wet slushy night in Toronto.
Coming home after a big trip has always been a bit tenuous for me. I'm happy at home and happy to be home, but I struggle with the instant nostalgia of where I've been. The contrast of leaving sunny and hot Buenos Aires and arriving in damp grey Toronto wasn't helping. My friend told me about the freezing rain in the forecast. Nice.
With my lower lip protruding, I headed to bed. My own bed. Not a lumpy bed that isn't long enough for my frame, in a crappy and noisy hostel. My own bed, my own pillow, in my own (quiet) neighbourhood. Needless-to-say, I fell into slumber pretty quickly.
And then it began. CRACK. At 4am it started. Trees and tree limbs were starting to fall. I got up to take a look but couldn't see anything. Despite being woken up a number of times, I decided to stay in bed until I could at least see what was going on. I did manage to sleep in but decided to get up when I heard knocking at the door. A group of neighbours were walking around clearing branches from driveways and checking in on people. This, my friends, is community. This is Eden Mills. In future blogs you'll get to know this place more, and why after a spectacular three weeks AWAY, coming home - even to an empty house - is good too.
The day was a rough one. Still in somewhat of a haze and not too "steady on my feet", I wandered around my property taking stock of the carnage. And the freezing rain continued to fall, and so did the trees. The power was out for two days - and we were lucky. Many parts of the city of Toronto were out for over a week. It's tough cooking Christmas dinner without power.
Getting back home is always rough, but on this trip, rough was redefined.