Wednesday, 15 June 2011

From Home To Home.

I gazed out the window and said a reflective fond farewell to British Columbia.  The plane took off from Vancouver airport at 5:00 P.M on Saturday, June 11.  After a nine hour flight and the advancement of eight time zones, we landed at Manchester airport at 10:00 A.M., on Sunday, June 12.  Where the heck had the weekend gone?
For five weeks I left my own routine to to be involved in the routine of two remarkable people.  Two people who have been beset with unimaginable adversity.  I did my very best to be there for my friends.  My own life was put on hold.  The passion I have to write was set aside for another time.  Yet I know that through the deeply profound and inspirational experiences that we shared, that we embraced, my ongoing quest to be a better man, moved one step closer to a more compassionate reality.  I want the mixed emotions, the joy and the despair, to be conveyed through the power and the wonder of the written word.
I'm exhausted yet elated.  I'm tired, but I cannot sleep.  Jet lag has left me with a feeling of surreality.  I look around my English home and wonder if the last five weeks were just a dream.  Did my trip back to Canada, my other home, really happen?  And I realise that it was very real and very raw.  I challenged, once again my anxiety, my overwhelming sense of being stupid and knew that no judgement was made of me.
I shall be doing a few postings of a time that will be etched in my heart and soul, forever.  I have been humbled and I'm even more grateful for all the good that is part of my life.  I have watched, with great admiration, two people who could easily be overwhelmed by a negative environment.  And somehow, despite it all, they continue to seek and cherish all that's positive in life.  Heather and Wayne, the next few postings, I dedicate to you.

And thus from home to home.  On a misty mid-June early English morn, I reflect upon my life and understand that changes in our lives do not happen until we are sincere with ourselves.


  1. May I be the first to welcome you back to your blog home. You have been sorely missed. Looking forward to Canadian stories...too bad you won't be there for the final hockey game between Vancouver and Boston.

  2. Hi mybabyjohn,
    Thank you very much for that :) I've been very much out of the blogging loop and will now try and get back into being proactive within the great blogging community.
    And I did manage to see the Canucks beat Boston on Friday night. Now I shall have to watch the seventh and deciding game on my computer. Oh well, go Canucks go, eh :)
    Kind wishes, Gary.

  3. Has it really been 5 weeks? Wow. Gary, you're unbelievably amazing - to leave your life and home, head off for friends, without a second thought. Truly an inspiration.

    Welcome home! Welcome back to your "usual" life; just go easy on yourself until you recover from all you've been through!

    Looking forward to your posts dedicated to your wonderful friends Heather and Wayne...welcome back to the blog world!

  4. glad to hear you're back safe and sound, having brought home with you even deeper perspective to think about and share, as well as the priceless immersion in the love of friends.

  5. Welcome back, Gary, glad you made it back safely. Yeah, it can be a bit surreal to come "home" after visiting "home". Looking forward to hearing your accounts of the trip.

  6. Hey Gary, glad to hear you made it back to your other home okay. It sounds like you had a positive, uplifting and revealing time with your friends, Heather and Wayne. I remember you emailing me some time ago about spending time with them but couldn't remember how much time you were going to be there. By what I've gathered, from what you written here, I think you convey you were inspired by them, their strength and resolve to get through the problem(s) they have faced and or facing. I believe that people can often times learn about themselves by learning about others.

    I love that plane wing picture. did you take that on the way back home? And yeah, I bet it was a bit surreal. Especially after all those hours on the plane. Wow.

    Good to have you back on the blogging scene, my friend. Your humor, your posts, comments, your positive outlook and inspiration were missed. Welcome home.

  7. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. Kinda thought you would. Missed your blogs. Sad that I didn't get a chance to see you. Next time. Happy Home Coming, my friend.

  8. Welcome back Gary!

    You sound very reflective, it's a truly wonderful thing to be able to be with our friends when they need us, and seems always to be a learning experience. I know I have always walked away with an altered perspective. You've been experiencing ... now comes the time to absorb.

    You have been dearly missed here also. Your words, your uplifting, your feelings that reach out over the miles and touch ours. Good to see you back.

  9. That photo at the beginning of the post is probably one of my favorite sights in the whole world :)

    Having just returned from the U.S. myself and become a European again, I can relate with the jet lag, as well as with the exhaustion and elation of evaluating the experience that has just wrapped up.

    Welcome back!

  10. Welcome back klahanie!!! Here's to the remarkable Heather and Wayne!! Glad you are safe!! Take care

  11. Welcome Back Gary! The Bruins vs the Canucks eh? Everyone around here is Bonzo for Bruins. I'm so happy to have you back in blogland. I missed you! I'm also so glad that your trip was such an amazing experience. I can't wait to hear more. Are you sipping melatonin tea to recover from your jetlag? How are your son, and modest internet star, Penny? YAY! Gary is back!

  12. Dear Gary,
    It's great to have you back, and I hope your return to Leek has not proved too much of a come-down from your adventures in Canada.
    It sounds as if you had a wonderful time with two very inspirational people.
    And, also, it looks as if you've made some pretty profound discoveries on your journey. I look forward to hearing all about it.
    As for Stoke- what can I say? It's simply not been the same without you. The excessive drinking, fighting and general bad behaviour have continued. And that's just me!
    Seriously, though, Gare, feel free to get in touch when you are ready. Until then, I await further posts from my hirsute, hippy friend.
    Yours with Very Best Wishes,

  13. Hi Gazza! Gradually everything is returning to normal in this, the best of all possible worlds. Welcome back where you belong.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  14. Hi Gary;
    What a strange feeling! I missed your blogging eventhough you sat right across the table from me and chatted and now I really miss your mug! Thanks for the kind words both now and in the future. It was such a blast having you here. The timing was good though. Poor Wayne is sick again and not quite "himself". Looking forward to more from you and I always love the pictures. You are so creative. Hugs!!!

  15. Greetings Kim, joanne, Botanist, Kelly, Joylene, Mustang Sally, Chris, Old Kitty, THE SNEE, David, bazza, becca and Heather P.,
    Normally, I would attempt to respond individually to each of your comments, but I've been struggling to get back to a somewhat normal routine. This jet-lag has lasted for quite some time. And so, I wish to thank you all very much for your warm welcome to my return to blogland after my most deeply profound and inspirational trip back to British Columbia.
    Over the next while, I shall endeavour to be more proactive and visit all of your wonderful sites.
    Thank you for your ongoing kindness. May we continue to all be here for each other and make this world a better place.
    With much respect and warm wishes, your way, Gary :)

  16. hi mr gary! welcome home from that trip. yikes! i hope you missed out on all that hockey stuff after boston won. wow! that was way bad and sad. i been gone off my blog for a long while too cause of being just real sick but now im doing some better and going at just a few blogs and for sure i came to yours. this was just a real nice post and you could always get in my heart with your words.
    ...big welcome home hugs from lenny

  17. First time here and intrigued with what you are saying and how you are saying it. I've a number of friends who have worked in mental health, and they are always among the kindest of my friends.

    I'll be back.


  18. Nice to see you blogging again, Gary. Will look forward to your upcoming posts when your jet lag abates and normal life resumes.

    Take care of 'you'.

  19. Well said and shared. To me the very last sentence sums it up. I hope the jet lag is almost gone. Thanks Gary.
    In peace,

  20. There are people in this world who not only survive but blossom in all kinds of strange circumstances. I've taught many kids who've been beaten down by life, but who've done nothing but bring joy to themselves and others. Sounds like your friends are in that mold.

    Welcome back to your home. Take time to recover from the emotions and the jet lag! :)

  21. Welcome home Gary!
    You have been missed.

  22. Hey Lenny Lee :)
    Thanks for the welcome home. Still recovering from jet lag but I'm starting to get back to normal and will try, from now one, to respond to each comment. Starting with yours :)
    That was really sad what happened in Vancouver after the final game against Boston. Of course, those weren't real fans and do not represent the fair city of Vancouver. The real folks of Vancouver went out and cleaned up the mess the next morning.
    My young buddy, I know you been poorly and I'm so glad to know that you're better:) You are one positive young dude and a huge inspiration to us in blogland.
    Thanks for thinking this was a nice post and please, my young buddy, take it easy and take very good care of yourself.
    Big hugs and smiles, your way, Mr. Gary :)

  23. Hi Pearl,
    Thank you very much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. That was most appreciated.
    I have been involved with a number of mental health Charities and my blog is an attempt to demonstrate that those of us who have mental health concerns can show that our issues are only a small part of who we are. Indeed, I try to live with, rather than suffer from, my mental health issues. And yes, encouragement and support amongst those involved in the mental health field is clear proof of the power of empathy.
    Thank you, Pearl and I shall come over and visit your blog.
    With respect and kind wishes, your way, Gary.

  24. Gidday Wendy,
    Thanks for that and for sure, once this jet lag, or whatever it is now, subsides, I shall be more proactive and put up a few more postings regarding my trip. Right now, my mind and body feels like it's still somewhere over the mid-Atlantic :)
    Thank you, Wendy and I shall take care of myself. Hope you are looking after your good self :)
    Kind wishes and respect, Gary.

  25. Hi Dixie,
    Thank you. I recall that momentous day in my life when I was genuine with wanting to change. I knew, I just knew that I was sincere and thirteen years later, the sincerity is as strong, if not stronger.
    I'm still feeling rather exhausted and out of sorts, but I'm getting back to some sort of routine.
    Hope all is well with you, Dixie.
    In kindness and sincerity, your way, Gary :)

  26. Hi Jemi,
    A thoughtful and wise comment for which I'm most grateful. The lessons you have articulated to those children will resonate in their hearts and make then determined, positive people who challenge any adversity with a sense of turning a perceived negative into an inspirational positive.
    For sure, my friends are very much in that mould.
    Thanks for the welcome back and I'm taking it very easy in getting back into a groove. I do indeed need time to reflect and relax.
    Kind wishes and respect, your way, Gary :)

  27. Hi Nas,
    Thank you, my friend. It's good to be back :) Hope all is well with you. May you continue with your most superb writing, Nas.
    In peace, Gary :)

  28. Being another person who calls more than one country home, I understand your feelings. It is surreal to be home in one place and home in another too, all while living completely different lives in both of those places.


  29. Hi Jai,
    I know how you relate to those feelings of surreality. I remember walking back into my English house and thinking things looked somehow different. A very strange feeling.
    Right now, my head is still somewhere over Iceland and I reckon I should really get back to this home, my other home.
    Cheers Jai and have a nice day :)

  30. My sincerest apologies for not being by to see these wonderful posts sooner, Gary. I myself just got home from vacation yesterday & haven't been on the computer much at all until now.

    You're just the bestest. =) Words can't even explain the ways you inspire me (at least, I can't exactly put it into words at the moment), and what a beyond incredible writer you are as well! We've missed you so much in the blogosphere. Great big hugs & welcome home! <3 =)

  31. Hey LilPixi,
    My sweet friend, no need to apologise. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful interaction. I think we have both been somewhat out of the blogging loop and this will also explain why it took me ages to respond to you :) I hope you had a nice, relaxing holiday.
    I'm truly flattered by your compliments and it's because of awesome folks like you that I feel inspired. So, thank you.
    Thanks for the welcome back and hey, welcome back to you, eh.
    In peace and hugs, your way, Gary :)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.