On Track – Getting through Ontario

Well we made it. Just barely. Both of us followed the tradition of getting on the train at Ottawa just five minutes before departure. Frantic morning of getting all the pieces together, finishing up all the duties, sorting through all the files, packing, booking appointments, sending emails, finalising arrangements. On the train to Toronto there was a buzz, people on their computers (including us) people getting on and off, that busy feeling that I didn’t notice until this morning when I woke up in the little cabin overtaken by a foldout bed and I realized there was nothing pressing. There was nothing that couldn’t get done in the four days to come as we travel straight to Vancouver – in fact there were plenty of things I could not do, like check email or text messages – we were out of range. The passing woods impressed on my mind the constant picture of silent life differentiated only by slight variations in the snowy land covered in trees.

I was able to take some time out to sit, read and relax. It was amazing to have the time to reflect on the impressions I had from the interesting people we sat with last night as we left Toronto on The Canadian, marking the real beginning of our journey.

Sitting in first class is definitely different from economy class, where I sat the last time I made this journey. Aside from the cozy bed and the delicious meals being included, the difference is really just the type of people you meet, and the life experiences they have to share.  After hearing people (mostly well over 45) talk about how they decided to live and what choices they made and were made for them, I was struck again by how train travel really introduces such an assorted bunch of people together.  Hearing such interesting stories from not only diverse perspectives but also rooted in a different time period reminds me of the vast stage our world affords for the millions of lives unfolding everywhere. In so many ways…

I was struck by how even before concerns of making our practices better so many people struggle just with being a part of families and the process of getting by. How then to fit this diversity of interests and ways of being into my lens of sustainability? I am coming to understand that what seems so obvious and urgent to me is not the case for everyone in these millions of unfolding stories. My voice is one among many and while I think action is necessary I am not necessarily being represented at the governmental level, and what I believe in is not universal… So what then? Well, I do have a stake and a stronger voice in my community and I have the right to build resiliency. This means gethering with others who want to focus on building closed-loop systems, and personally making conscious decisions on how I travel, eat, interact.  I’m learning to see past me, past my opinions, wishes, desires for the world and trying to impose them. Yet I continue to believe that what is true will settle and become clearer and that I can continue to work to bring that to be.

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