The sun found its way out of the overcast much earlier than usual, and Port Hardy enjoyed a beautiful summer day. Walt and I spent most of it preparing for our trip to Belgium (Leuven and Brussels) and Amsterdam, beginning tomorrow afternoon when we fly from here to Vancouver, then spend the night with Martin, and finally return to the Vancouver Airport on Tuesday morning for our flights to Portland, Reykjavik, and Brussels, from which we’ll take a train to Leuven. Our B&B there is only a few minutes’ walk from Walt’s conference venues and other wonderful places around the University, and weather is predicted to be “just right” for me: highs in the low 70s with occasional showers.
I washed, folded, and put away two loads of laundry and had a pleasant chat with a man at the laundromat who is taking his boat all around Vancouver Island; packed my roller-bag; used leather cleaner and conditioner on Braesail’s cream-colored upholstery; and carried bottles and cans up to the garbage disposal area on shore. Walt attached the BRAESAIL lettering to both sides of the boat’s stern hull, filled our water tanks (250 gallons total), and did some other boat-related chores and some reading.
In the evening we walked about a mile to the Ha’me’ restaurant, located in a very nice hotel, which combines First Nations’ and Canadian cuisines; their poblano chili/vegetable soup was especially tasty! As we were walking back down the hill to the docks, we spotted a man stretched out on his back at left the side of the road with his head just on the pavement and his body lying perpendicular to it. At first I thought he might be a foot-traveler taking a rest, but on closer inspection, we saw that one eye was closed and the other barely open and wandering and his jeans were wet from the crotch down. He didn’t appear to have sustained any visible injuries, but didn’t respond to our questions. As Walt was checking the man’s pulse (strong) and trying to elicit a response about his condition, two cars pulled up and stopped to see if help was needed, and one driver called for emergency assistance. The man finally opened both eyes but remained unresponsive, except when I told him that help was on the way. He asked, “WHY?” I said, “Because you look like you need some help.” A police car soon arrived and the officer recognized the man as a “regular,” telling us that we were no longer needed and asking the man how many drinks he’d had that day. We walked back to the boat to finish our chores and eat the last of our ice cream as a late dessert, and I thought about what one sees on the edges of roads: gravel; trees, flowers, and brush (here one sees daisies, dandelions, clover, shooting star, and thimble berry and blackberry bushes); bottles, cans, paper, and other refuse; sometimes a dead animal; and sometimes all-but-dead, “trashed” people who are nonetheless children of God whom God loves. So much beauty and joy and so much ugliness and suffering, and God embraces it all! I’m including the man we found in my healing prayers together with all the others like him, and am asking God to help me to be of some help to them.
This will be my last post until we are back on the water again, probably around August 19 or 20. I will make notes during our European journeys to summarize as I take up my blog writing again, and I should have email access so that I can read and respond to any messages you send to me. I wish you the very best in all of YOUR adventures!