I am now more than halfway through the adventure I set out on a few weeks ago. When Twenty-six was chosen for One Book Nova Scotia, one of the things I agreed to do was travel the province, reading from the book and meeting people. I have read in Halifax, Antigonish, Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Halifax (again), Bridgewater, Middleton, and Yarmouth. And there are still more readings to come: Truro, Stellarton, Halifax (a different library each time), Amherst.
The experience has been so overwhelmingly positive. I’ve met interesting, intelligent, articulate people. I’ve been asked insightful questions. People have spoken to me candidly about their own experiences and their personal connection to my work. And along the way I’ve gotten to see this tremendous province, literally from one end to the other.
And I’ve reconnected with old friends, people I have not seen, some in over twenty years, who came out to share in the experience.
My only regret in all of this is that it comes at a time of year that is already quite busy for me: the start of a new school year. Yesterday morning I woke up in the Annapolis Valley, drove to Yarmouth, came back to Truro, and was back in class this morning at 8:50 am. That’s all part of the adventure, but the hecticness has limited my time and ability to reflect on it all, in private or in writing.
A few stand out moments: Meeting my grade six teacher, Robert Murchison, in Sydney. Reconnecting with Robert Currie, a friend I have not seen in decades. Two people in two days in Cape Breton asking me questions about Danny Dykkens. The lady in Antigonish who expressed her appreciation of the time I take to describe things carefully in my work. Hearing the incredible Bridgewater accent on the street. The woman in Yarmouth who told me the story of her first meeting with her birth mother.
I’m glad I’ve reached a stage in my life where I’m aware of how important certain moments are, and can realize that awareness in the moment itself. I’m grateful to be part of One Book Nova Scotia. I’m drinking in every incredible molecule of it.