Road trips are fantastic.
They create so much within me, great (meaning large) feelings.
Today it was Grande Digue, New Brunswick. Acadien territory, near Shediac. I cannot explain it, but it just feels like home to me. It was especially beautiful today as the tress were full of frost and the ocean was a silvery blue. Totally rug hooking material.
I was traveling solo. Beatrice stayed home and was glad to. No fear. We were both happy with the directional decisions we had made this day.
I chose a playlist of songs largely from my past. Its title, “liked songs”. Some are sad, some are happy, all are familiar, and they know me well. It began rather suitably, I thought, with Roch Voisine, and ended with … well, actually I am still listening to it while I am writing!
My destination was an antique and collectibles store called Nadine’s Touch. Today I actually got to meet the proprietor, Nadine, which was, well, in a word, grand. A small woman with dark hair tied back, she spoke to me in a soft french accent of things I love: lace and butter soft colors, linens, and rosaries.
I cannot tell you what that connection meant to me. It is so hard for me to develop relationships with others, other than my students. The past year has been difficult for me in that regard. Fear of loneliness sometimes drives you to unfamiliar territory. But not today.
Today was different and it began with Roch Voisine’s “I’ll always be there”. It grew when I saw the ocean and those dazzling trees. And the realization that my heart and chest were not ready to explode with dread and heaviness.
Do you know it’s okay to cry over songs that make you think of your father? And your handsome husband? That it is therapeutic to visit Acadia-land and buy a handmade creation depicting a crucifix surrounded by rosary beads that your mother-in-law would have been able to explain to you as Nadine did? And that you can set boundaries even though you are desperately afraid to do so?
And that watching Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii is just the ticket on the day you had to set those boundaries? I am telling you that the strength that you need comes from within you, and the promise of a glass of rum and coke doesn’t hurt either.
I have become happy with who I am. I have developed joy from sadness. This year has been difficult and not only because of Covid-19 and missing Patrick, and Beatrice’s struggle. There were other struggles too. I feel deeply and think deeply. I like to please and I am lonely. I saw these as deadly combinations, but in the end, they are really not.
And today’s road trip helped me to see that.
I am leaving you with the final song on my play list. It’s called “I Am…I Said” by Neil Diamond. It is a terrifically happy coincidence that this is where it ends. I hate ellipsis because of that unknown space but I have learned to accept it as perhaps a necessary evil.