How I Came Here Collecting

Well, my dad has been looking forward to this entry, even if no one else has.

I am here. After five airports, four flights, going through security three times, checking my bags twice, and spending one night in the Regina airport, I arrived in Vancouver, full of vivid daydreams about what it would be like to finally wash my hair.

In retrospect, I feel as if I did very little to actually get myself here. It’s as if some months ago I wandered onto a wave, sat on its crest for a while, watching the sky and worrying, and then was suddenly deposited in this soft, smoky city in British Columbia. In fact, I can’t think of much I did besides buy a plane ticket. Lynn and Leslie bought me a clock, Elizabeth Roberts brought me peanut butter, Susan told me over and over how wonderful I was going to be, and then Mary and Lauren packed my bags.

I’ve been here for a little over a week now, and I’ve had lots of time to think. This has been a little overwhelming, but of course, that’s why I came here: to think. I came to think and to breathe and to store all my sentiments up in some sensible way, to gather up the particulars of my past and of my present and of the reality that stretches far, far beyond my horizons, and build a story out of them.

I’m finally accepting the fact that I’m a collector by nature. Once in college a friend affectionately informed me that I was sentimental. I remember being a little offended, because I rankled at the idea of some kind of painter-of-light, Emmeline Grangerford treacle, but that’s not really what she meant. I save things. I save papers and notes and t-shirts and books and old, deflated birthday balloons. I remember what people’s hands look like and how they hold their shoulders walking up and down stairs, and I remember the way my Grammy’s back breezeway smelled, like eucalyptus and old knit blankets and morning chill. I am a sentimentalist–I collect all these things.

This place is still very new to me, but so far I have collected a new appreciation for rooibos tea, a goose egg on my arm from falling down the stairs, and the rainforest. I have a bit of the tall, cool, brown-and-green BC rainforest in my pocket (or maybe I am in its pocket?)

More to come. Grace upon grace.

One thought on “How I Came Here Collecting

  1. Love hearing about your adventure! I think of you often….in fact I went into your old classroom to tell you something and there was a man at your desk. It’s just not the same!

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