[Veterans Park, Minto, NB]
It started as a dream when Canadian Armed Forces Veteran and Artist, James Lightle (Cpl retired) returned home from Afghanistan injured in 2006.
"When I got injured, I came to the conclusion that life is too short not to not do what you dream of. My dream was to travel this beautiful country before I die. I almost died in Afghanistan”, explained James.
[Left to right: Cape Tormentine, NB; Wentworth Valley, NS]
When I first met James in 2009, he talked about this dream. Specifically, to cross Canada in a truck equipped with a camper. I of course, fell madly in love the man AND the dream to see the country from the road. My late mother travelled all over this country and encouraged my brother and I to explore so I guess this relationship and this journey was meant to be.
Then life happened as it always does. James' retirement happened in 2015, we moved to Nova Scotia that same year. A decision to open an art gallery and start my Diploma in Art Therapy in 2016 meant that we would have to put the travel dream on hold for a few years. Then a Hurricane, a family tragedy and a lockdown delayed us for another year and a half.
["Truck-House Freedom" sketch by Jaime Lee Lightle]
Tick, tock, tick, tock...it's now 2021! Where did the time go? We had a tough period but fortunately, the gallery is doing great, and my Art Therapy program is complete. The next step is to finally pack up the truck and load up the camper.
We will be leaving our home in Nova Scotia on the 1st of September, and we will be spending the next 20 days on the road getting to know our country: the geography and the people. So Canada, look out for the Blue truck with the camper, we might be hitting a town near you!
“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she's something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.” – Emily Carr