The travel angels saw me home safely, even ensuring I had a whole row of seats to myself on the flight – a gift to someone wary of germs and overpowering scents.

The excitement of being back on the canal and immersed in milder temperatures overrides this total exhaustion. I slept on and off for eight hours following yesterday’s journey – a feat that rarely happens for me.

The plan was to have a quiet day, enjoy the reunion with Ric, and wash my clothes. I did not intend to get dressed. But, like all good plans, there is always something that pops up.

Today it was this beautiful, calm white Pelican, who glided downstream and lingered outside my window. My camera demanded I quickly dress and pulled me outside.

So good to be back.

(My challenge this week is destination. So often, in my dreams, I am on my way home, as if home is place I’ve not yet secured. Today, settling back into life with my husband and the birds, I feel like I’m home.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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