Growing up in small town Alliston, my siblings and I spent hot summer days swimming at the manmade lake at Earl Rowe Park. It wasn’t uncommon for us to swim out to the small island and tramp around its perimeter, or dive off the bridge near the concession stand. We were kids, and kids take risks. That’s all part of growing up. Now, however, swimming to the island is prohibited, considered a “dangerously life threatening feat of endurance” by the powers that be. I suppose for some, this could be considered wisdom. Not for me- the rebel within me rises up and says, “Oh yeah, watch me. Let’s swim to that island- let’s show “them” (whomever “they” are). As I contemplate my upcoming journey, I do take into consideration “the risks” involved in such a venture. Am I safe as a woman travelling alone? What if I get lost? ( that’s a given), what if I get injured, what if I go manic again (rest assured, I am bringing my medication), what if I die?!? Some have asked, aren’t you afraid? Of course I am! I’m just not afraid enough to let it stop me from embarking on this journey. You all know the cliche- “feel the fear and do it anyway”. So what if, worst case scenario, I die? Well folks, I know where Home is…I’d miss ya’ll- but I know there will be a wonderful reunion one day. In my opinion, eulogies are wasted on the dead (tell people how great they are and how much you love them right now- don’t wait until it’s too late!) so I hope you’d have an Irish wake (even though I’m not Faken Irish) , a fabulous dance party in my honour (I will be there… you just won’t see me) and then plant me as a tree – so I can give shelter to the birds and shade to the weary traveller. However, let’s be realistic, the probability of death is quite minimal, so everything else that comes my way should be manageable, don’t you think?

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