I couldn't even pack the car to the top. I had to leave room for the baby. And the cats. (cats, unlike dogs, are not generally fond of car rides. I have the scars to prove it.)
Maybe there was time to think more carefully. To choose what to keep and and what to leave more thoughroughly. It didn't feel like it though. All I felt was an ever increasing sense of panic, as if rabid wolves were nipping at my heels. The pounding of blood in my ears interrupting all waves of thought.
Fleetingly, I said good bye. I took my baby, took my cats, grabbed a Tims, and headed west.
I stopped on the side of the road to sleep. Nursed my baby in gas station parking lots. Discussed with waitresses in elaborate detail the ingredients and preparation of every menu item that I thought may be suitable for our lengthy list of allergies. Washed and sanitized my hands until they were cracked and raw.
Another thing cats don't like, by the way, are motel rooms. But I was grateful for a quiet, warm place to hold my baby safely, knowing that every kilometer brought us further away from the unspeakable dangers that hunted us. Closer to the place I once called home.
3 days on the road. 3 days of weeping, singing, cursing, searching, fleeing. 3 days of solitude (well, not quite. But in a car, cats are not great company or comfort.) And I couldn't unload my hurt, guilt, fear and lonliness on my baby girl. She lost just as much as I did. She just didn't know it yet.
Got lost only once, which is amazing for me. Got stuck in the snow only once, too. (Did I mention this 3 day drive was through the winding roads of the Canadian Shield in February??) I got stuck in the tiniest of towns. My daughter sleeping peacefully unaware in the backseat, I had to let strangers drive and push my car, because I could not get out of the snowbank myself. Such kind men. One man even invited us for dinner with his wife and grandkids. He offered his wifes freshly baked banana bread as enticement. How wonderful, if only bananas were a harmless fruit for us, and not a deadly nightmare that we had already once survived.
Eventually, dazedly, we made it home. My old home. Our new home. Home still feeling like that tiny apartment we left behind. Began making a new life, new memories here. Always aching for those left behind. Learning how much I was missed. Ache for how much I still am missed, just by different people, in a different home. Ache even deeper for those who miss my baby girl, and then hold her closely, knowing that one day the ache will find her too.
Knowing that her ache will create in her a desire to pack up the car, and head east, as if to rewind my journey. Not knowing what she will find as she searches for what she lost. Hopefully she hits the road with more reason and sanity than I.
Oh little sock
we must have a talk
of where you're supposed to be
my OCD won't let me be
and give your mate
an unmatched date
What a disaster that'd be!
A little taste of Autumn
Cuz Autumn, she tastes so sweet
Her heady fragrance consumes me
Her foliage crunched beneath my feet
Little by little she undresses
Seductive bits of golden red...
how blessed are we, the artists, who travel otherworldly into our souls