I love the inclusivity of my conversations with Karl.

Some years before, when Vancouver-based Peter (a dear friend, lawyer and later a highly skilled judge) was trying to help me save the Nimbin property after Morag defaulted, I noticed the inclusionary quality of his language. With Peter, my problem was our problem, and we were working collaboratively to resolve it.

Now I feel the same about Karl’s help. I sense that he listens intently, and I feel supported, comforted, and buoyed up. I do not feel alone.

Unlocking the code

On 8 May 2017, a few days before my departure from Brisbane for Vancouver, Karl counsels:

You have learned life’s big secrets: ‘The Love’ is all around and within you. It is part of everything. It’s all there is. Once you ‘get’ that, everything else should flow more smoothly. Life is a song of praise to love. We have unlocked the code together — and now we can share this knowledge.

A soft landing

And so, together, Karl and I pack up my life — our life — and I fly to Canada with six large suitcases and boxes of books, clothing, and a few treasures. My Vancouver friends meet me at the airport and settle me in.

The next day, my fears fade as I open my door to welcome a spring morning. I had not realized that, as an urban planner, I was now living in Mole Hill — Vancouver’s most famous — and hard-fought — heritage neighborhood. Across the shared laneway stand several glorious renovated timber mansions, dating back to the 1890s and early 1900s, now occupied by subsidized co-op tenants.

Mole Hill heritage houses

Pink and white cherry blossoms carpet all the sidewalks I can see. Three flowerbeds outside my window boast tall, nodding lemon-colored daisies with golden centers, clusters of bluebells, glistening ice-white hollyhocks, and huge, deep purple tulips drinking in the pale spring sunshine. Gigantic coral poppies blaze in another nearby bed. In the garden at my door grow trees that will offer apples and pears in a later season. Strawberries bloom at the foot of the trees.

The level and quality of marigolds

Karl is with me as I settle into a chair in Melriches Coffee House on nearby Davie Street (deemed suitable by Brendan, a young friend, for my writerly persuasions). I pick up my pen.

Karl claims to have slept comfortably in the new bed at Strathmore Lodge. His voice has almost a formal tone as he begins. “I want you to scrutinize this situation,” he announces:

This is the level and quality of marigolds that are now available to you, Wadie. This is how it will be for you now: in the flow. Now you can relax and let joy and happiness flow — for you. This ‘flow’ has a flavor all its own. It’s distinctive. The whole arrival thing yesterday was ‘flow’. God sent a sunny day and sent Ken (that kind airport porter) to welcome you. So much love is now flowing your way, dearest Wadie. You passed those hard tests. Now you can rest and have more dreams of happiness.

My container of love Is full.

I have accepted the harsh reality of my circumstances. I have sought and received help from Karl, from friends, from professionals, and from God. I have allowed Karl’s messages to guide me to transform from the headstrong woman I was when he died to the heart-strong woman I am becoming.

An active doer, I have now become a person who is beginning to accept “the flow” and allow myself to rest in what is present. Karl has seen the big picture. Now I understand and recognize the power of this new way — this radical trust.

How could I ever doubt again?