Tonight, I am sitting in a quiet empty lot in a marshy area on the shores of Lake Huron. I am south of Grand Bend; on the map this place is called Kettle Point, though it is Pat's Point to the locals. Occasionally, a car pulls in and a family, or more regularly, a father and son get out to fish in a small inlet that seems to be full of small catch. A swan cruises in over the tall grass. The air is fresh, but it is much warmer than it was to the north in Point Clark or Kincardine. We have traded the cold nights for mosquitoes and blackflies. Around me are the sounds of small birds, crickets, the occasional frog and the laughter and cheers of a softball game being played not far from here by the local boys on the native reserve. Thunder rumbles in the far off distance that is the horizon. A storm is surely on the way. It is serene, though not entirely quiet, and the sunset today is lack lustre compared to the ones we saw a few days ago. Braden is sitting next to me writing a journal entry (a thing we do to jog our memories of the events of the day and to gather material for our blog posts), and between our dinner of BBQ sausages and grilled vegetables and the enevitable darkening of the sky to a point where it becomes difficult to work, I have a few minutes to reflect on our journey so far.
I have noticed that the quickest thing to go is my awareness of days of the week. Instead, I think of days as number of nights spent in the van. When I woke up this morning, I knew we had spent four nights in the van, but I was unaware that it was Friday, June 9th. The day itself matters not. Time has also found a way to slow itself down and speed itself up all at once. I have begun to feel the rush of city life ebbing away, and yet although our alarm goes off at 8:30 each day, we are always amazed to discover that it is already evening time by the time we hit the road, especially on days that we do a workout or visit a library to borrow some WiFi in order to update our website or Instagram account. Today, we pulled in to Pat's Point around 7:30pm. Most notably, I have discovered that my attachment to all things digital has almost vanished. With a new (data free!) cell phone plan that restricts my text messages and calling abilities, I have come to discover that I don't miss all that so much anyway. I am completely at peace with my situation and am indescribably happy.
I must admit that leading up to this adventure I was afraid that it was all a mistake. I was afraid that I wasn't cut out for life in a van; on the road, with no income and no end date. Now, only a few days in, I am more excited than ever to be out here with Braden stopping nowhere and everywhere. After being in the comparatively bustling Grand Bend, I am reminded of why I am doing this; to see things that are beyond the kitchy cuteness of places like Grand Bend with their boutiqe shops and overpriced restaurants and cantinas. I am out here to find beauty in places less ventured, and to challenge myself to enjoy watching the earth, not my cellphone screen. Tomorrow, I will have only a vague idea of where I will sleep and what I will eat, and I have come to realize that that is ok. More than ok, it is amazing and liberating and exciting, and you know what? I am going to wake up to that feeling everyday for - who knows how long. Maybe forever.
When I left Ottawa, I joked (in half-truths) that I was homeless. I have since discovered that in this van, with Braden by my side, my home is everywhere.
P.S. A little follow-up to Kindness in Kincardine: We have since put up the blinds that Candace gave us and they are GREAT. They fit perfectly, and after a little McGuiver-ing, they work like a charm. As it turns out, not all small towns are as welcoming as others (some have "No Overnight Parking" signs everywhere). For the most part, people are lovely. We have been approached by many people eager to figure out what we are doing, not trying to shoo us away. We have even been offered a place to shower and visit. The kindness of people towards complete strangers continues to amaze me.