There were times indeed, for The Vagabond Godfrey, when the long days hitching were not spent solitary. He met fellow travelers easily..and he gloried in summer on the moody, golden, Canadian Prairie.
On this journey, he wrote of meeting a young chap, setting out from Winnipeg, thumbing for a ride, he introduced himself as Hawken, heading west, he sought the freedom, and joy to be found in simply living outside.
“It was working grain harvest, said Hawken, that honed and hardened me”. “The barley dust, cool nights by the river, watching sunrise from the combine.” “On a harvest crew, everyone has their story”. “I told my family, school is over, for Hawken is going to fly free”.
Mum shrilled, “You will die cold and alone in an Igloo, I fear I will learn of your loss on T.V.” Dad shook his feather duster over me- griped, ‘Don’t even think of coming home wet and dirty”. Grandpa added, “Take a deck of cards, very handy if stranded over night in a bus depot or lost deep in a cave” .
Grandma lectured- ” Beware loose women and pickpockets, darling, mind how you behave”.
“At dawn, when moon cradles moon, I wish to sleep beneath it, “Catch a salmon from the ocean, set it back, learn to Kayak, rest as long as I please on a sunny shingle slide, train a strong horse, for a friend and to ride”.
“No office desk for me, for I, Hawken, wish to live my life outside”. “I left home because of beets, Godfrey laughed”. “Similar advice was given me”. ” Hawken, said he, keep your face to the sun, your feet warm and dry, trust in life and let the cow- path be your guide” “Send journals for safe keeping to a trusted friend, learn the gypsy skills you will need to live happily outside”
An intense youth was Hawken, feather in his hat, brown muddy boots, a seekers stride, they met up at the Headingly-Truck Stop, Godfrey going East, Hawken out West to live outside.
“He quick caught a ride”, Godfrey wrote,” ran to the rig that stopped, called back words that the wind and roar of the road blew away”. “Never saw him again, but like to believe Hawken followed that cow-path over the divide”.
..”.And on some wild coast, nights when moon cradles moon, The Vagabond Hawken is living outside..