The Spoked Traveller | Restoration after a rough week…
Trails and advice cycling around the world as solo female cyclist and adventurer
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Restoration after a rough week…

Restoration after a rough week…

In the past, when I felt unglued, I saw a therapist. When I stopped feeling unglued, I stopped seeing a therapist. Or, maybe, I couldn’t afford it anymore? But, I like to think that because of therapy, I know how to self medicate during my unhinged moments: being outside sets things right inside my head.

So, after a week of turmoil, as I’m sure you can all relate, I had to seek out a forest for some comfort. Even before the Trump news, I was feeling a twinge of identity crisis. I’ve been trying to figure out how to transition out of print journalism; apparently print journalism is dead and I’m the last to get the memo. Then, Trump happened, which actually made me feel sick in my stomach; then the next day, a musician I have listened to since my teen years died: Leonard Cohen was someone who sang of longing and questions. My step father introduced me to Cohen when I was 14. I guess the angst of teenage hood never left me, or anyone else. Leonard made this ok.

On Friday afternoon, trudging through traffic at 3:30, I began the drive north to my beautiful friend’s home north of Toronto. Fran Bouwman is a wood carver, feminist, and kind soul. She lives in a cozy house with a firepalce in the woods, her sister and her two dogs. Oh, the dogs.

In the forest, in front of her home and gallery, three Amazonian-like Native women carved in wood stand with their faces and hands held up to the sky. Called The Three Crones, you can read their story here:

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This is a taste of what Fran is about.

That night, we head to a friend’s party in the burbs. We arrive and the kitchen is abuzz with people making food: a woman from Buenos Aires is folding dough stuffed with caramelised onions and pork for the best empanadas I’ve ever tasted; someone else is making Indian pekora. Then, I begin talking to a woman who started a company that has created schools around the world.

Talking and connecting. It was a good night, and I was on a “people” high by the time we left.

The next day, Fran and her sister went to visit their other sister, and I, lucky girl, got to babysit her two dogs. After a walk along part of the Bruce trail near Walter Falls, yes, she lives near a waterfall, we sat on a fallen tree for a few moments next to a river, listening to the water.


After Fran left, it was me and the pups. But first, Escobar. Filling the bath up to the brim, then precariously placing the laptop on the ledge, I soaked and watched the 67th episode of Escobar, a Colombian version of Narcos. Since returning from Colombia in May, I cannot stop watching, no matter how crappy. I started and now I have to see it to the end.

Back on the sofa, I began marking papers and listening to Leonard. And curled up beside me was sweet Keba. Suigi was at my feet. When Fran worked on a Native reservation in New Brunswick, Suigi’s owners had abandoned him. But, Suigi waited on the stoop of the house every day for months for his owners to return. Everyday Fran saw Suigi on her walk to work. Eventually, Suigi began to follow Fran. Then, he would wait for her in the parking lot all day, and walk her home. She had no choice. Suigi had chosen her.

The next day, waking to the sound of silence– I mean we’re in the middle of the woods here — I resumed marking papers with the doggies. Then, when I couldn’t take another grammar mistake, we went for a quick run. I was giddy, and so were my buddies.

I returned to the city feeling solid, sturdy.



  • jody
    Posted at 21:28h, 18 November Reply


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