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11 Mar 2015

Winter 2015 Tour to Alberta and Yellowknife

It is March 11th and I am in the Edmonton International Airport on route to Grande Prairie, Alberta, for the first in a series of seven events across six communities in central and northern Alberta, and Yellowknife, NT. There is a piano bar in the Edmonton International Airport. This morning they have a folk-rock singer from Prince Edward Island named Casper Hollands playing his guitar and harmonica. He is also accompanied by someone on the piano. What a delight to have live music in an airport during a layover.

Over the past 16 years I’ve been leading workshop tours around the continent, traveling over a hundred days a year. I’ve seen a lot of towns and cities along the way and met some remarkable people. If I was a hockey player some commentator would tell me I’m just under 30 more workshops away from having taught over one thousand since this all began back in 1999.

After all these years I continue to enjoy each workshop. I’ve kept a log of all the workshops, the date, the topics, the host venue and the town or city where I’ve presented. I can read though the places I’ve been, recall the place, the setting, the people. The cafe I went to with people after a workshop in Ma-Me-O Beach, Alberta. The drive to Prince Rupert in the spring of 2006 and the grizzly bear I saw on the side of the highway. The circle of people who gathered and the tone of the workshop at a church in Lewin’s Cove, Newfoundland.

If someone had told me back in 1999 that in 15 years I’d have taught nearly one thousand workshops to over 13,000 participants and the many people I’ve come to know as friends I would have been astonished. But I read somewhere about not keeping one’s light under a bushel. And it has made sense to me to be open to boldness, and to say yes to every invitation. And to ask for suggestions of other places to present when an initial invitation came from far away.

And I’m grateful the weather forecast in Yellowknife will be at mild -8C. I’ll be looking for and maybe writing a poem about the northern lights.

Ray

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