The last few days in Moncton have spurred a whirlwind of emotions. I have been trying to spend as much time as possible with loved ones. It is not easy leaving everyone you know behind to venture off to a new land of unfamiliar faces for an unknown amount of time. Yet sitting on this plane to Toronto, I feel a calm peace flowing through my body, reassuring me that this journey is exactly what I need.
The four days I spent in Toronto provided the spiritual refreshment I needed before venturing across the world. Jessy and I spent most of the time with his family: Mom and Dad, Mona, Devon and Dino (their smart dog who knows two languages). They were very hospitable rrrand made me feel right at home. Their door was always open, allowing us to come and go when we pleased. Whenever we returned home Jessy's Mom was prepared with mounds of food for us to treat ourselves to.
One night in Toronto, Jessy and I made our way to a friend of his named Skylar to hang with him and our good friend Donovan. We roasted marshmallows around the fire while exchanging stories all night. Skylar's family joined us and took part in the story telling. It brought me deep joy to see how loving and compassionate they were to one another and their guests whom they had never met before. As the fire began to dwindle, so too did my energy. When saying our goodbyes, Skylar handed us two brand new pairs of headphones to enjoy on our journey.
The next day, Jessy and I ventured to Hamilton to visit my dear friend Shan. Shan took us to Collingwood to meet up with a few of his buddies in Pretty River Provincial Park. We spent the entire day out in the woods riding some technical and exhilarating mountain biking trails. I was so consumed in the moment, trying to carve the rocky and winding trails, that I lost all track of time. Six hours after embarking on the trails we parted ways with our new friends.
Shan, Jessy and I decided to set up camp in an isolated part of the Provincial Park. We found a nice little area by a flowing river and setup the tent on a mattress of leaves, under a blanket of stars. We had been warned about a thunder and lightning storm, but we chose to leave our tent open to the elements. The thought also crossed our minds that park rangers would find us and kick us out of the park, but there is a key difference between danger and fear. Danger is real — I was aware we were at risk of getting kicked out of the park and ticketed with a hefty fine — but fear is simply a product of the mind. We chose to set up camp earlier with the awareness that we were vulnerable. It was too dark to pack up everything and leave at this point, so we had to accept our decision. We felt we had nothing to hide. Our tent was already open to the elements and open to the possibility of being caught by rangers. I knew we had to have an open mind to truly enjoy the night. After all, an open mind is as welcoming as an open door.
The next morning we made our way to Wasaga Beach to soak up some vitamin D and play in nature's sandbox. The beach was beautiful and the water warm. I could have lounged there all day but we had much to do before our flight on Monday night.
When we returned to Mississauga, Jessy and I borrowed a car from his parents to make a trip to Toronto. While there we were able to pay a visit to Ben, Aaron and his partner Robyn. It has been far too long since I have seen these gems. There are certain people in life who give us gifts that money can't buy, such as love, compassion and respect. These are the kind of beings I try to associate myself with. I have made many friends who come and go, but I have also met so many who have had an everlasting impact on my life. What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All the we love deeply, become a part of us. The spirit of these individuals is with me wherever I go, even when it's the other side of the world. It is with these people that I can share my dreams, goals and passions, rather than simply discussing the weather and other trivial topics. Surrounding ourselves with those who actively strive for a peaceful planet will change the way we see and interact with the world. My family and friends are all so incredible in their own unique way. They remind me that I am never alone on this journey called life.
We are so interconnected, but our misperception of reality can pull a veil of ignorance over our eyes. We must attempt to embody the change we want to see in the world; however, I know that cannot happen without the support of loved ones. Family and friends, all of you, inspire me when I am overwhelmed and feel one person can't make a difference — for that's all who ever has.