Soaking under the stars

August 18, 2011

I dragged myself out of bed this morning, having slept very little, if at all, last night. I spent most of the night in pain from my broken heart. The anguish created a turmoil from my brain to my heart and back again. Another teen has fled the nest and the transition period is always difficult. Especially when the break was one I had not anticipated nor wanted. Usually I like to be more involved in the decisions around leaving the home nest, but this one came upon me suddenly.

The wildfire that burnt down our home in May forced us to displace to the city three hours south of our hometown. One teen returned to our hometown after the school year ended to fulfill commitments made to employers. And has decided to remain there for the winter. A decision I was not prepared for.

After talking through the difficult decision with the fledgling adult, cruising down the open highway into the Rocky Mountains, and soaking beneath the stars in the hot tub at the HI-Nordegg – Shunda Creek Hostel, my heart was able to stitch itself back together again. It’s not the first time it has been broken and, with four offspring, certainly won’t be the last.

As we were driving into the mountains, I felt all my stress lift away. That always happens to me when I’m in the mountains. My soul rises up to reach the top of the mountains, to touch the sky. Everything about me is lighter.

As we pulled off the highway onto the road to the hostel, we had Rod Stewart cranked on the CD player. “The rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum / With the words “I love you” rolling off my tongue / No, never will I roam for I know my place is home / Where the ocean meets the sky I’ll be sailing.” Since we were on our way to the B.C. coast, it was a fitting song to play on the first night of our trip.

We climbed the steps up to the hostel’s front door, greeted by the patrons in the hot tub on the deck. As we entered the hostel, it was as if we had come home. After removing our shoes at the door, just like at home, we went through the large, spacious eating area. The long island in the kitchen gleamed brightly, inviting us to stop and create a culinary masterpiece. Not on this trip, though.

We strolled through the common area, past more patrons that were spending the night. And were warmly greeted by the manager. After signing in, we quickly went to our room, changed into bathing suits, and sank into the hot tub.

We had driven through a downpour just before reaching Nordegg, Alberta. I was worried the rainstorm would prevent us from enjoying the hot tub. Fortunately, the storm had passed and we were able to roll back the lid and slide into the heated water.

The sky was full of stars. My son and I discussed which one would be the north star. It’s always the brightest star in the sky, but that was directly above us. I always thought the north star would be north. And since I had to drive south to get to Nordegg, it did not make sense to me that the north star would be right above us.

The only lights were those in the hot tub and the blinking lights strategically placed in the bushes around the tub. After the jets shut off, we listened to the sounds of the quiet night air. The detectable hum of the tub, a ker-chunk of a freezer inside the hostel, the lapping of the water, the crackle of the wood as the fire tried to resuscitate itself. The sound of peace itself. And to top it off, my son was rewarded with seeing two shooting stars. Likely the last of the Perseid meteor shower that we can watch each year in August.

When we went back to our room, a quiet excitement filled the air. We were on a road trip. And the first night is always the most exciting. Quickly we crawled into bed. Tomorrow will bring a long drive. All the way through the mountains to the other end, at Hope. With my heart mended, my mind at peace, and my soul lighter, I should have no trouble falling asleep tonight.

To find more information about the HI (Hostel International) Nordegg, Shunda Creek Hostel, click on the link:

To watch a video of Rod Stewart singing “Rhythm of My Heart,” click on the link:

For information about the Perseid meteor shower, see my blog titled, “Joining thousands to view the show.”

For details about the wildfire, see my blogs titled, “Into the inferno,” and “Out of the inferno.” Also, click on the category “Slave Lake Wildfires” for more blogs.

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