Friends, we're here! We made it!
The drive went smoothly, save for a flat tire (and 2 lost hubcaps) I got right before the Confederation Bridge (which is the bridge that connects PEI to the mainland in New Brunswick). The potholes on that road are insane. I was bummed when I first realized what had happened. I tried to be zen about it but, as I sat waiting for the guy from the garage to come change my tire, I was quietly cursing the province of New Brunswick. (Note to self: learn how to change a tire)
It took some time for the garage guy to show up, and, as I sat in my car, in the pouring rain, my inner grump started to get the better of me: Great! This is just what I need! What a terrible start to this adventure! But just as I was reaching maximum grumpiness, someone knocked on my window. As I rolled it down, I saw a man standing there. Not the man from the garage. Just some man I didn't know, who happened to have the most honest, caring, sweet face, and the biggest, gentlest eyes. And he asked: Are you OK?
And I answered: I think so!
And he said: Is someone coming to help you?
And I said: I think so!
And he said: So you're OK?
And I said: I think so!
I could have married him right there, on the spot. Not because he was especially handsome or my type but because he was so sweet, and because of what he made me realize in that moment. And what I realized in that moment is that, no matter how hard I try to hang to life (and sometimes I try to hang on very hard), no matter how much I try to predict and prepare and control everything, I can't. And you would think I'd know this by now, at my age, after everything that's happened, but I always seem to lose track of it. I always end up forgetting that I can't control everything, all the time. I forget about the surprises. I forget about the unforeseen events. I forget that, sometimes, I may have to sit in my car, in what feels like the middle of nowhere, for what feels like forever, and just wait. So what I also learned in that moment, what the gentle faced man reminded me of is that, when these things happen, when things feel beyond my control or yucky or scary, there will always be someone there to help. What he reminded me of is that the world is filled with kind, friendly people. The Maritimes are especially filled with kind, friendly people. I don't always have to hang on so tightly. I can let go of the grips a little. So I did.
After my little life lesson, the garage guy showed up, changed my tire, and I was on my merry way. And as I drove on to the Confederation bridge, towards my new home (for the next 5 months, at least), the clouds parted and the sun came out. And I drove on to the Island, in the sunshine, and it was kind of amazing.