Planes, Trains and Automobiles and trailers and my own 2 feet.

A few weeks ago I was blogging live from the Bar MW working chute. Today the location is distinctly different. I am coming to you from the St. David dorm room in the guest house at Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. I am in an Anglican convent. Rain is falling quite heavily and its kind’ve a great atmosphere. Russell is enjoying milking my location for all its worth, he has been telling me that when chatting with friends he enjoys saying things like, “you think you’ve got it bad, my wife left me and went to a convent!” Its true. But I only left for a bit.

I didn’t feel right about taking many pictures while I was at the convent. I found this one on the website. These are the women I spent my days near.

Here is how this came about….back in January my sister and I were talking. She shared with me something she had recently been invited to do and that was to set goals for the new year, as opposed to resolutions. It made sense to me. The process included writing the goals on index cards and reviewing them regularly. I made goals. I wanted to read a fiction book every month and a non-fiction every three months. I wanted to ride my exercise bike with some pattern. I wanted to do some extended fasting. I wanted to work a variety of spiritual care practices into my living. I set all these things up in measurable ways. But a really important goal was that I wanted to connect with my elders more. They mean so much to me but you would never know it by how I live my life most of the time. So my goals included, “visit Uncle Ted.” In March as I reviewed the goals I realized I had to get my head around how this was going to happen. A rancher in Saskatchewan doesn’t just schedule a visit with a man in Toronto without a little planning. The pieces fell into place pretty quickly, very quickly when I realized I could get a Westjet flight to Toronto for $79 due to a sale I stumbled upon. As I thought through the options for how this could look I connected with a memory of a previous time. When I lived in Saskatoon I booked myself into a retreat house there, a place where I could go to be apart from the rigors of daily life, experience silence, be fed both spiritually and physically, talk to a spiritual director and perhaps come away renewed. I loved those days. I have tried to recreate them with varying levels of success. When I stumbled on this memory it feels like my brain literally went “ding.” I thought I could probably merge visiting family and friends with retreat life and I went on the internet. What existed in Toronto? I found the convent I am currently sitting in. For a very reasonable fee I have a very comfortable room, 3 beautiful meals a day and invitation to join the sisters in their times in the chapel. Silence is the norm in most of the public spaces, it is healing and thought provoking.

There is lots more that could be said about some of these pieces, I hope to write about some of them later.

(Fast-forward a little bit….)

I am currently starting my last full day here at the convent. It was a good decision to come here. I fly home tomorrow. In about an hour I am setting off to get to the Finch Subway station, I am going to ride south to Bloor and Yonge, transfer trains and find my way to the Kipling station, if it goes smoothly its about an hour on the trains. I will bring my book. Not far from Kipling station I will meet my Uncle for lunch. I saw him on the day I arrived but due to the distances involved, my need for rest and my desire to see other family and friends I have here, I wasn’t expecting to see Uncle Ted again. It sounds odd to plan a trip to see a person and then only see them once. The thing is, and its weird maybe, I just needed to see him, for my heart it didn’t matter for how long or how much. But since that first day I have become confident enough on the subway system and I feel rested and my cousin gave me the inside scoop on Uncle Ted’s favorite restaurant, so I called him up and we made a date.

(Fast-forward again…….)

A selfie at the Dundas Street Grille.

I am finishing this blog now, sitting in the departure lounge at the airport…. and now my spot on the plane. I read over what I wrote yesterday with its extreme amount of detail, why should you care what trains I had to take? I think that is my way of being seen for something that is kindv’e important to me. I might live on a ranch, with my hometown not even in possession of a traffic light, but I can still find my city girl groove and I am deeply thrilled that it allowed heart to heart connection with one of my people. I am super lucky to have all the pieces in place that make trips like this happen. The backbone of it is a spouse who figures he can run the ranch without me for a bit and drops me at the airport with his blessing.

The automobile action….a trip to the airport towing our trusty Hyundai on a trailer. Russell was an absolute Rockstar getting this trailer backed into and then out of the Hyundai service lot. Thanks to the Powells for lending us their trailer. Perhaps a sign that I needed some rest…I cut my lip with a bag of canned food the day before. It was pretty klutzy.
Inside the Toronto airport.
I walked through heavy rain to get to the Subway station.
Arriving into Regina.
Russ gave me a warm welcome home, including a meal at the Lancaster Taphouse. It was here we made a great connection with our server. Just one of those times when everything clicks and you have a rich conversation. It was totally fun to have a reunion a few days later when we spotted her in the midst of the pride parade. (Picture below).
Russell made good use of his trip back to the airport. He dropped off some cow calf pairs at our Manor pasture. That got him about 40 miles closer to Regina. He then unhooked the livestock trailer and headed to get me. Our trip home included picking up the trailer and checking the herd. It was great to see the calves looking good and enjoying their summer residence.
The last bit of action of my time away had me on my own two feet again in a setting drastically different from the umbrella picture. This calved out heifer named “Stir” had somehow got outside the fence. Russ went ahead to open the gate and see it got turned in, I walked it back and together we got her reunited with her calf in the pasture.

I have not yet had the chance to look over my goals for ’22 index cards. When I do, it will be with a warm feeling in my heart that I write “accomplished – June 3 and 7/22.” Have I mentioned I feel lucky?

1 Comment

  1. Susan says:

    I love this story Cathy, you are very blessed and deserve to be!❤️


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