I wound my way from Weyburn, Saskatchewan to Lethbridge, Alberta yesterday … and so did Scarlet. We saw magical things, and some less so.
1. A line of power poles stretching to the horizon, unobstructed by trees, the wires dipping gracefully between each
2. Oxbow creeks, where the stream winds back and forth in tight curves, like a ribbon lying on a table. No hurry to get anywhere.
3. Coming over a rise and looking deep down into the river valley, enjoying at least 200 brown cows spread over the meadow beyond and the hills above
4. Passing old weathered barns and homes of grey boards, some listing to the left or right and others with rooves about to collapse in the middle
5. Newly painted yellow lines down the middle of my two-lane roads, often smeared by drivers of questionable consciousness. Sadly, I thought weeks ago that such displays were the marks of inconsiderate Ontarians only, to discover that Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have their share of people wanting to be noticed.
6. Being lulled by the straight roads only to snap alert when a lake to my right seemed to rise up in gentle folds. Huh? Turns out it was a blue field of flax. For a moment there I thought I’d been transported into an alternative universe.
7. Seeking out the traditional wooden grain elevators that I used to know and love. They’re tall rectangles, usually with what looks like a small house growing out of the top. And always the name of the community proudly displayed on the side. Now it’s mostly vertical cylinders of cement stuck together with some lattice work of metal on top, reaching for the sky. (Sigh) I love tradition.
8. Bugs splattered all day on my windshield, effectively neutralizing the quality cleaning job I had done in Weyburn. Just part of the landscape.
9. Fingers of grey reaching down from the background blue, tempting the earth with rain
10. Giant shredded wheats scattered far and wide in the fields, making me long for a late breakfast
And then … after Medicine Hat I started scouring the horizon for my beloved mountains. “But, Bruce, you can’t see mountains from this far away.” Well, hope springs eternal. I used to be good at telling the difference between mountains and clouds, but I seemed to have lost my touch yesterday. Closer to Lethbridge, I gazed at the downward progression of the sun slightly to my right. I was so looking forward to the sunset. Go, sun, go! Near Taber, I glanced to the left, and there they were … I even recognized Mount Cleveland and Chief Mountain! “Hello, dear ones. I’m back.”
I rolled into the yard of Ray and Joy Doram around 9:00. Ray is Jody’s uncle and he showed my lovely wife great kindness when she was younger. Another reunion. I’ll tell you about our cozy conversations tomorrow.