VIA RAIL – Day 14

This train is again filled with interesting folk… a couple who are travelling to Vancouver to visit their son, and splurged to stay in the Park Car – the wife, a long time Principal of an elementary school and husband, a Journalist. He had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and they decided to do some travelling now before they can’t anymore. My heart breaks for them, as I witnessed my own father live with the disease and know some of what the future holds for them. I was really happy to see them traveling and spending time together while they still can both enjoy each other – both very much in love.  A group of family members – brother, sister and daughter – taking the ashes of their mother/grandmother to Alaska to be spread in the mountains. Another fellow, who lives in a small remote town called Sandy Lake in Manitoba as the town butcher – on vacation alone, taking in the sights on the train.  A fellow musician, a bass player from Toronto – a travel companion to his brother who is disabled.  And two men travelling alone, but found kinship together – along with me – of similar age and outlook on life. Each one – a story, a history, and a current adventure lying ahead… The only thing that binds us together is our human bond of skin, bones, and a visceral need for community and connection. This is the most important lesson I’ve learned on this trip, and will strive to foster this in my own life and community.

The train stopped in Winnipeg, and before I had to perform a short set in the station, I took in the Forks Market for a quick espresso with my new friends Matt and John. Even through the pouring rain, I could see the beauty of the city. As my new friends went to check out Portage and Main, I headed back to the station to perform all the Neil Young songs I knew to the train passengers awaiting to board the train once again 🙂

For my last set of the day, I performed in the economy car where a few individuals were resting and catching the sunset. A little girl from small town Manitoba was in the audience – the music inspired her to make me a gift… and what a gift that is, in and of itself.