I enter into the new story of my new life in Vancouver on 14 May 2017.
I am following my heart and my strong desire for adult belonging. I now regard belonging as my lifetime’s work, which I must choose, rather than waiting for it to happen, as poet John O’Donohue explains.
My first act is to express my heartfelt gratitude to Becky and Eddie, who furnished and decorated my new Vancouver home. Right down to the teaspoons! They spend six weeks designing, consulting, shopping, cleaning, laundering, unpacking, hanging curtains and decorations, and setting up the little rental suite before my arrival. And, although I am effusive with my thanks, the sad reality is that nothing less would have sufficed. I am exhausted.
Eddie and Becky create a sanctuary for me. Their love and care, brilliant interior design style, and fastidious attention to detail allow me to settle in quickly and comfortably and to embrace my new life. I feel safe, trusting, and protected in my tiny home. And Karl is correct about ample storage in the little suite. Roger, that!
Initially, I am so exhausted that I can barely walk. But my weariness soon fades as I begin to explore my new neighborhood. Within a very short walk is everything that I need, from a post office, liquor store, drug stores, bus stop, community garden, cafés and restaurants, an ATM, a hardware store, a dentist, greengrocer…. My new apartment has a Walk Score of 99 (out of 100).
Soon it Is summer
Soon it is summer. A hot, dry summer with long, balmy summer nights. I had no idea Vancouver was a city of summer festivals. On the main street of Davie Village in my dense, urban neighborhood, live music seems to pour forth from every corner. Two weeks after I arrive, the Saturday farmers market pops up beside Nelson Park, right next to my building. It will continue until late October.
I have never eaten a double-baked almond croissant (or two!) before.
I am breathless with gratitude for the enormous blessings of my new life. I weep through the annual summer fireworks display, several concerts, the folk music festival, the jazz festival, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, and delight in games, ice cream, back massages, and salsa dancing in Jim Deva Plaza — a block from my new home.
I marvel at the resonances with the words I read on the Plaza banners that honor the much-loved gay activist, Jim Deva: Respectfully, audaciously, zealously, indignantly, stubbornly, sensitively faithfully, intensely, steadily, pluralistically, gracefully, strongly…
That is me, too.
I have come home.
I am finally home. And I am not alone. Karl and I have worked together to bring us both home.
Sitting on the bus as it crosses Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver’s iconic landmark, I photograph the setting sun from the window.
I am home.
And, by God, am I grateful!