Home and AWAY


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Coming Home to Carnage

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.

Just live

On Sparrow, Mouse and Bear

Just a little ditty I thought up, sitting on the back step this morning. First thing I've written in years. Based heavily on a film called Unrelated [if you've seen it, it's obvious], but also just things on my mind.


I sit on the back step with my coffee cup in both hands, looking out at the yard. The chickens stalk through the ground cover like tiny dinosaurs, hunting for insects and worms. Swallows chase each other like miniature bomber planes, screaming their fury at the world. Crickets sing frantically in the hot air. The sun bakes my legs and feet – I lean back to keep it off my face.

Footsteps along the wooden boards.

Two long legs step down and fold next to me, feet together, knees apart; the smell of hot skin and fresh sweat coming off him in waves. I glance over at him, my lips lifting in a shy, lopsided smile, which he reciprocates with a broad, overly cheerful one. There are tiny beads of sweat on his forehead and his flushed cheeks. His chest rises and falls quickly, catching his breath. He looks out at the scene. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’

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