The promise of dawn was still hours away, yawning below the horizon; it had been snowing since late in the afternoon the day before, with four inches of fresh powder on the ground – tiny flakes flying as we traversed the snow belt, on the eastside of the lake.
Squalls of snow, of slushy, brined beet juice to keep the roads from freezing, spent motor oil and my prayers were thrown in waves across the bow of the van, lifted up from the wake of the big rigs rolling north; a sloppy mix of winters last remains.
Somewhere in the silence of the highway south of Sudbury, there is a monument to a drummer who was killed on the road; Jonathan had spotted it on the trip up and we doubled back to take a closer look. It was terribly beautiful.
I was thinking of him out there in the darkness, silently marking time as we bid goodbye to Ontario and started the long trek back home; who he was, I do not know but it was obvious his family and friends loved him. His spirit rode with us quietly in the van as we left Sudbury behind.
The miles fell away and the snow chased us across the Canadian border and down the Blue Ridge, to the outskirts of Winchester, Virginia where we broke for dinner. Home seemed so far away to me, even as we rode closer – was I really in the rugged Canadian Shield just this morning? Where have all the ketchup potato chips gone? I visualize myself turning the corner of my street and finally, after two weeks and thousands of miles, on the wooden steps of my front porch, leading me inside. Home, sweet home.
Thank you Canada!