We arrived yesterday, actually. Our figurative/literal journey began on October 1, 2013, and was scheduled to end somewhere around September 30, 2014. As the journey continued, however, my daily mileage increased to the degree that we made it to Bay Comeau several months early. As I've mentioned, Frances joined me for the last 800 miles or so, making the venture all the more pleasurable. I have enjoyed the miles, but am disappointed to have written so little the last few months. As mentioned several weeks ago, I intend to turn around and come home writing! So we'll see, and thanks for reading the entries that did accompany the journey.
Let me tell you about Baie Comeau. Located in the Cote-Nord region of the Canadian province of Quebec, the small city (pop. 22,113) lies near two rivers, the Saint Lawrence and the Manicouagan. It is named after Comeau Bay, which takes its title from the naturalist Napolean Alexandre-Comeau. Settlement in the area began in 1889, largely as the result of the timber industry. Paper and pulp mills have long served as the primary source of revenue, along with hydroelectric plants, an aluminum smelter, and grain warehouses. In recent times, the population of Baie Comeau has dwindled, largely due to the absence of university and college opportunities in the area, causing many young to seek education and subsequent employment elsewhere. Nearly all of its residents speak French as a first language. The climate is quite cold, as might be expected in a venue that lies so far north (49.2167º N, 68.1500º W), with extremely heavy annual snowfall.
Other than that, there's not a lot to say about Baie Comeau (I'm sure its residents would disagree!). I suppose I selected a fairly innocuous destination for my journey, largely because the distance from Mobile fit with how far I expected to walk in a year. No pomp, circumstance, or fanfare greeted me in the town, but rather a place where people doubtless quietly live their lives, with moments of various kinds of excitement thrown in here and there. My kind of place, actually, and my kind of life. I very much prefer equilibrium over exhilaration, particularly in matters of the Spirit. I would argue that the vast preponderance of the Bible's teaching and historical record reflects far more on the level plain than the lofty summit. Certainly, life with the Lord Jesus Christ offers many moments of thrilling discovery and experience. Most of the time, however, we walk with our Lord in quiet confidence and a settled assurance. This is a good thing because, generally speaking, you really can't get much done when emotions burn at a fever pitch. You have to come down and calm down before completing the spiritual tasks that largely comprise the Christian life. Baie Comeau makes me think of such vital spiritual truth, and if it took 1957 miles of walking to be reminded, well, I count that a good thing indeed!
Ok, back to Mobile. I missed writing about a whole bunch of interesting places in recent months (some probably even exciting!). I'll try to catch up a bit, and just as I've enjoyed having you along on the way to Canada, I hope you'll travel with me to Sweet Home Alabama, where the skies are so blue…
"In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."