Jeffrey here. Joey stayed wrapped.
Today we rolled through more of Canada. We had a long steep climb from Lake Ontario to the Escarpment, the geologic feature from which the Niagara River falls, creating . . . the Falls. Otherwise, the terrain was largely flat and lushly beautiful. A few small towns and some long highway strip developments (we passed many a Tim Hortons and Subway) separated new housing developments and working farms. It was nice but not terribly photo worthy. Here’s today’s selection: Lake Ontario from the Escarpment (the photo doesn’t do justice to the height), and a couple of signs.
For fun, and to hint at the amount of material we edit out each night, below are a few of the dozens of uncaptioned outtakes from the first week of this Ride. Each comes with a story. We can’t tell them all!
But first, permit me to explain, and to thank you.
Every night we walk a fine line. Tell too much and we impose, or worse, lose our audience. Tell too little and our readers don’t get a feel for our journey, which is the return on investment that they expect us to provide.
When we are on a Ride, life simplifies. I need water and food. Need it, as I rarely do at home. I need protection from sun and rain. Every night, I must find and reach shelter. All these things can be acquired with money.
Time is different.
While money can free up time, it can’t create it. Time past cannot be recovered. The time I spend listening to and talking to new friends on the road, thinking about you and writing for you, is the very stuff of my life. I do it for love. Not romantic love, but love nonetheless. Only love can explain the investment of so much time in this project.
By reading these words, by posting public responses and by phoning and writing privately to encourage and support, you too choose to spend time that never will come again. Your gift of time means that my words are not (to coin a delicious H. L. Mencken phrase) bawled up a rainspout in the interior of Afghanistan. Surely you do that for love . . . of something.
People along the way tell me their troubles, thrilled that an exotic traveler pauses to pay attention to them, to hear them. I salute pedestrians young and old, people in cars at intersections, and most of the time their faces light up. They like to be noticed, to feel for a moment that they matter in the world. Their smiles, their waves, their sympathetic listening to how hard it is for refugees to win safety in America without a lawyer, is a gift to me – a stranger! – of their own irreplaceable time. Their engagement enlightens, revives, refreshes, reminds me that I exist.
I thank them for their time. And I thank you, dear reader. For your time. For your attention. For expressing your support. Without readers, I would not write and this project (never mind me) would not matter.
I hope to repay your kindness. I hope our stories and thoughts from the road enlighten, revive, refresh, and remind you of your importance, and of your power to brighten the world, for me and for refugees and for everyone you meet.
Please accept this photo potpourri with my compliments.