A guy picked me up hitchhiking in Australia once, when I was going West to
head South, and he said it must be because I’m a crab (cancer) sign -
moving sideways to get forward. I think he might be right. Ive been
running home, backwards, the last few weeks.
From San Francisco I knew I wanted to be in Madison, WI, so I went north
up to Washington. The truth is, I wasn’t quite ready to hang up my
travelling shoes, and with the little last breath of autumn, I decided to
squeeze in one more adventure. It just felt like something I needed to do.
Often though, I ached for the warm home waiting for me in the Midwest, and
looked forward to time passing swiftly so as to get there sooner. I had
left the Northwest with the intention of returning quickly, and so loose
threads hung up there, dangling from the evergreens, awaiting my return.
Stopping briefly in the San Juans, I hugged my old friend Guisepi again,
and spent a few days with the close community there, watching everything
wind down for the winter. It snowed while I was there, an unusually early
winter, and the place looked and felt so different to my previous summer
visits. Everyone was bunkering down or packing things up, the hibernation
of the cold months ahead beginning already. I realised that seasons make
one so much more aware of Time. Where I grew up, with 90 degree
temperatures all year round, there was never a need to prepare oneself for
the coming conditions. Here though, every month that slips by brings new
tasks to be dealt with before the next shift settles in. It instilled in
me a sort of anxiety, for which the only cure I knew was movement.
I hitched a ride up to Nanaimo, Vancouver Island to see an old friend and
lover from the Caribbean. The difference in environment and seasons (from
the sunny BVI’s to snowy Canada), changed a lot in us too, and though I
was so glad to have made the trip, it was a somewhat awkward 4 days. We
went for a beautiful canoe ride though and saw the travelling Bamff Film
Festival which provided a lot of inspiration. I left a day early, partly
because I didn’t want to risk missing my ferry, and partly because it felt
finished. It was an exhausting hitching trip back to the San Juan’s, but I
was moving in the right direction again and that comforted me.
We spent a few more days on the islands, packing up the bus and getting
ready to hit the road. When we boarded the ferry, I felt a perfect sense
of closure, a much more official ending to my connections there. We rolled
A week of tea-serving, letter writing, lightfoot deliveries, and finally
we were back in San Francisco. Guisepi dropped me off at the Amtrak
station, we unloaded my boxed bike, all my gear, and then turned to
each other for a hug. Our relationship began as flirtation, grew into a
friendship over the years, returned occasionally to romance and now rested
in a love usually reserved for family. We agreed he’d always be my
‘hoboking’, and I’d always be his ‘hoboqueen’. We understood that no matter
the length of separation, we would always be close. We would always hold
huge amounts of respect for each other, and no doubt always continue to
inspire one another with our simple stories and life choices. We hugged,
smiling, and felt so much gratitude.
I boarded the Amtrak, beginning my last journey (for a while). Madison, my
beloved Charlie and his beautiful family waited for me at my destination.
I feel so whole. So utterly exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. A
page is turning, a new life beginning. I am so completely ready to give
myself to a settled life – to rest, to create, and especially to love,
with the man that brings me home.