Sunday, September 9, 2018

Autumn's Cheer

From dewy lanes at morning,
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here.
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
Helen Hunt Jackson, American poet and activist (1830–1885) in her poem “September”

Sweet scents of fermented grapes wafted over a hidden glade within our local woods as Bro and S-I-L treated me to the Ancaster Autumn Stroll. Wine and brews joined delicious food provided by renowned local eateries as the Rotary club hosted its annual fundraising event. Having spent the afternoon in the fresh air foraging in the woods while singing along to classic tunes crooned by the terrific Dunn Brothers band, I certainly feel satiated with autumn’s best of cheer. What a wonderful feeling!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Beauty of Storms

. . . I don’t just wish you rain, Beloved – I wish you the beauty of storms . . .
John Geddes, Canadian journalist and author in A Familiar Rain (2011)

After a morning of heavy rain and with the forecast putting the chance of rain at 5:00pm at 50%, I decided to duck out of work thirty minutes early. And so it was that at 5:08pm, as my commuter train had only just left the station, I could enjoy the beauty of the deluge from a dry perspective.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Friendship Jaunts

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans;
In one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.
Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer, poet and artist (1883–1931)

Dear friends treated me this week to excursions into realms beyond my normal frame of reference. Our adventures led to new findings and lots of fun.

The weekend's junket included a picnic in a shaded, magical garden complete with gargantuan knobbly elms and a pink-garlanded gazebo, a visit to a non-Irish Dublin, and a vast waterscape of the mighty Lake Huron with boats returning to a protective harbour.

As we journeyed we shared past memories (including an old photo from my first trip to the Rocky Mountains) and made new ones (e.g., giggles and tears over trying to remove cowboy boots in a local consignment shop).

I’m truly thankful for friends who add such rich dimensions to the aspects of me.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Smiling Sunflowers

We’re all golden sunflowers inside.
Allen Ginsberg, American writer, philosopher and activist (1926–1997)

As the calendar moves far too quickly into the last days of summer, the smiling faces of sunflowers in the grocery store cheered me. They and gladiolas are Mother Nature’s best birthday gifts. Bring on the smiles! ☺

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Uniquely Canadian

Red meat and gin.
Julia Child, American chef and author (1912–2004), providing the reasons for her longevity.

I’m an apprentice of the spirit of Julia Child, and I certainly enjoy my G&Ts on warm afternoons. A chance conversation introduced me to a gin that found inspiration in the Canadian north. Thoroughly intrigued by the listed ingredients I carried a bottle home from my western wanderings and had the opportunity to taste it this evening.

Ungava gin boasts Nordic juniper, Labrador tea, crowberry, cloudberry and wild rose hip that produce a gentle and refreshing flavour that needs nothing more than tonic to carry it. The mildness of its flavour belies its 43% alcohol content.

I foretell a future television ad similar to that of the Tetley Red Rose tea commercials of the 1970s: “Only in Canada you say? . . . Pity.” ;-)


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Chasing Sun and Pyramids

When you can't find the sunshine
be the sunshine.

The forecast for my lakeside refuge called for a day of rain so my friend advised chasing the sun to the mountains and pointed out Pyramid Mountain on the map. Chasing sun and pyramids (mountain and lake) made for a wonderful day.

A little island in the middle of Pyramid Lake provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

Pyramid Mountain stands proud over it all.

The sacred force of nature is powerfully felt when surrounded by these mighty living edifices.

The urban environment didn't beckon me to stay but Japser's Bear Paw Bakery provided the key fixings for a mountainside coffee break on my return trip home.

Driving eastwards, the weather front formed a magnificent tsunami tumbling over the mountains.

Arriving safely back at the refuge, where it had rained during the day, I was fortunate to catch a lovely evening break in the weather front.

Taking up my waterside perch, I watched the magnificent artistry of the shifting sky patterns on the water.




 And then the rain came and threatened to continue so we took our leave from the lakeside refuge, which gave us a big, wet, grandmotherly farewell kiss.

And we were warmly welcomed by Suki the Cat. I am truly in the presence of a star. If you don't know Suki, check out her website and follow her stunning adventures.

My own adventures on the road come to a close tomorrow but I am already planning the next trip.
Stay tuned. ;-)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Road Trip

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
Jack Kerouac, American poet and novelist (1922-1969)

My 2018 road trip began with broad unbounded horizons and ribbons of country highways lined with golden fields of canola.

For several days I was treated to a warm farm welcome accompanied by delicious farm fresh hospitality featuring eggs that tasted like eggs and lamb that I would venture is the best in the world.

My adopted family took me for a glorious day at the beach complete with a barbeque picnic and a game of bocce (for which I turned out to be a natural).

My rented VW Jetta then took me westward on the Yellowhead Highway to a special place that has offered me a soul-restoring refuge over the years (read decades).

I lose myself in the divinity of nature. The world beneath the lake’s surface mesmerizes me while the grandeur of the ever-changing cloudscapes fill me with awe.

And those heavens rumbled during my away time. On the first night, following a dramatic simultaneous strike of lighting and thunder, I fell asleep to the sound of a waterfall on the cabin’s tin roof. The following afternoon they hurled hail missiles that were quickly spent so that the skies shone glistening rays onto the lake’s rippled surface.

During a beautifully sunny afternoon, a canoe trip revealed multiple micro worlds along the lake.

Surely Monet would appreciate the damselfly among the waterlilies as much as I.

There is nothing like the call of the loon to calm the soul.

From the bow I peered into the watery worlds, fascinated by the textures of life and detritus.The ever evolving life cycle goes on and on and there is beauty in all of it.

My road trip continues westward today – into the mighty mountains near Jasper. Stay tuned. :-)