Chris's Journal - November 20, 2002

The salty air forces itself into the motor home each time one of our bladders takes us for a walk. The wind-chill is forcing the thermostat closer and closer to absolute zero. Our window is facing north, giving us a waterfront view for the night. Our home-on-wheels is sitting atop barren tundra hills, lying in thick, storm-hardened-snow. Our resting ground for the night is Gross More National Park, Newfoundland-the home of thousand-foot fiords and moose as plentiful as starlings on the prairies. The latest statistics warn of the forty moose-related accidents in the past ten months and are posted like a wanted signs all over the road. We hoped fourteen sets of eyes watching the road would be able to protect us from any bus-moose mishaps. Our ride luckily was a safe one; our only run in with the local fauna was a woman, knee deep in snow, trying to dislodge her battered bronco from the driveway.

We were alerted to her concern and reminded of our credo -Kindness 24/7- by Johnny, our road manager, who spotted the women like a hawk spots prey. Our kindness cruiser was brought to an abrupt halt, and the crew scurried across the street to help. Erik the Extreme reefed the shovel out of her hand and started removing the fresh snow furiously. Soon his jacket had been torn off, and he had sent the woman to the shed to fetch shovels for all hands (yes, a two shovels for every boy!). Within minutes, we had cleared the driveway of snow, and the first layer of gravel that covered her walkway. Our Newfoundland Damsel-in-distress brought out the whole neighborhood to witness the west coasters clearing her driveway. There were four homes in the neighborhood, each one belonging to one of her sisters, who were armed with Tupperware containers full of date square, chocolate covered peanut bars, and our soon-to-be favorite, molasses muffins. We tried to tell them to pay it forward. We tried to tell them we hadn't the time, but in Newfoundland acceptance of the generosity of strangers is mandatory (especially when food is involved), so we stayed.

I don't know how many times on this trip we have ended up in a complete strangers home eating in their kitchen. Canadians have proven to be remarkably trusting of (seven) grown men showing up on their doorstep unannounced. We have been taken in by single mothers in apartments; senior citizens in bungalows; students in bachelor pads; families in mansions and even homeless persons underneath abandoned building. When I think about the range of people who have opened their doors to us, I am reminded of the universality of kindness, and how blind we are to a world that blankets us with compassion. Regardless of what I witness in the news, I know that the reality of our world is a much kinder-gentler one. Ironic, as it may seem, on this trip I still find myself struggling against the angst and tragedy in the media. It is hard not to make the news your reality. In Gross More we are finally in a place where there are no televisions, no papers, not even service for our cell phones and my mind is once again able to focus on the beauty of what is right in front in me, and remember that global evolution must start with action from individuals. No change ever came from watching the world wobble. And yes, one person can make a difference. (no exclamation necessary, it is a fact)

November 20, 2002
November 19, 2002
November 1, 2002
Octoer 29, 2002
October 24, 2002
October 20, 3002
October 16, 2002
October 13, 2002
September 28, 2002 (2)
September 28, 2002 (1)
September 7, 2002
September 6, 2002
August 31, 2002
October 21, 2002
October 4, 2002
September 19, 2002
September 8, 2002

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