Riding the Wave of Spirit

by Shannon McArthur

Lost 4 times and still arriving before too late was miraculous. It hadn’t started well and if we hadn’t had the right attitude, it would have been hell, but we were riding the wave! Choosing and doing the best we could, at each time and place – as a new challenge crested, we met it, paddled like crazy and then rode!

I had planned to drive a friend to the airport but I got a call. Another friend had a friend who had an appointment in a nearby town but couldn’t drive and would I trade my plan for her plan so both tasks could be accomplished? I love to drive and when I heard the what and why, it wasn’t a hard decision. We left at 11:00 for a 2:00 appointment. We finally arrived at 5:00 on Friday before a long weekend to see a doctor so Anna (alias) could be admitted to rehab the next morning. What a trip!

I’m a pretty go-with-the-flow kind of person and sometimes my plans are a little loose but I did check Google Maps to make sure I knew where I was going. It didn’t help. Later I found out Anna drives there every month so she actually knew how to get where we were going but was too polite to say. And by going the way I did, it turned her around so 2 minutes after driving across the floating bridge into Kelowna, we were driving across the floating bridge going out of Kelowna! Oh my, how we laughed!

It started before we even got out of Kamloops. There was a big accident on the highway heading out of town so I had to make a decision on the fly. I thought it was OK because, while it was the long way, we had lots of time and I would just turn off at Merritt. When we got to Merritt, we missed the turnoff and ended up half way to Vancouver before we realized that the mountains we were enjoying were not what we were supposed to be seeing. Much too lush… although Kelowna is in the banana belt of BC, it doesn’t have mountains half-way up the sky! But they were so beautiful and the Coquihalla Highway is such a dream to drive, it just didn’t occur to me until Anna exclaimed “Merritt 186k! We’re on the wrong road!” We realized later that the sign she saw was wrong (it should have been on the other side of the freeway!) and we were actually 186k past Merritt. (Thank you, Great Mystery!) She called her sons, (both of them!) to get directions and the one we reached wasn’t surprised. Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurrence and he was very good about it! We followed his instructions and turned around and took the turnoff from Merritt that we should have a couple hours back.

15 minutes before her appointment, we called to say we’d be about 1/2 hour late as we were behind an accident on the highway (no need to tell them WE were the accident). No problem; the doctor had just returned from a 2 week holiday so people were double and triple booked and they’d fit her in when we got there. We called again from Kelowna to say we’d be another 10 minutes, then realized we were actually only in Vernon and had another 20 minutes drive before Kelowna! Oops. Finally we called a third time, as we got to the floating bridge mentioned previously, to be told the doctor was leaving in 10 minutes! We may have been just a little hysterical driving the wrong way across the bridge, and when we unraveled that tangle, we were still coming from a different direction than Anna was familiar with, so we got lost again (driving down a parallel street to the one we wanted), so we had to ask for directions (“We’re women, we can do that!”) and finally, just as the minute-hand is coming to the hour and the bolt about to be shot, she slides in the door! Safe!

This was such an exercise in having the right attitude! Never did we lose it, even at the creative driving practices of others. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful road. If it wasn’t for the fact that we got lost again on the road home, following the route Anna takes every month, I could easily believe the only reason for all the Spirit shenanigans was so she had less time to consume more of her chosen poison before she went in! Now, I like to think we were all just having fun!

She went in this morning, with help from her friend and I, and is now safe in the care of the Phoenix Centre, the same organization (different city) that helped me find the sweat lodge where I pulled myself together a couple years ago. Nice.