Traveller with Limited Vision

She makes her way, unafraid

a square white sign taped to her metal walker,

trusting that those who head in her direction

will honour safe passage.

Amid the roar of the rough ocean

a flock of geese fly overhead as she walks,

shuffling through nature’s discarded treasure

the warmth of the sun upon her smiling face.

We have met once or twice before

beneath dusk’s dark mantle,

down by the lagoon that isn’t lost,

watching a plush beaver kit foraging in the wet grass

leaving me forever astonished at how freely she lives,

inspiring me, reminding me, to do the same

with eyes wide open.

An autumn view of the city (Vancouver, B.C.) near Coal Harbour and Lost Lagoon.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Signposts

There are paper lanterns strung across

the front of an old brick building,

their delicate watercolour painted facades

hiding moonstruck light,

if I hadn’t looked up,

I would have missed the mystery floating there.

It’s easy to see the variegated autumn splendour

still clinging to moss covered limbs,

lying in heaps upon the grass and choking roadways – 

not so, those subtle nuances,

a flash of dark wing, glistening berry and

tendril of wood smoke,

signposts for those who walk between worlds.

Another favourite path in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.) bathed in autumn’s atmospheric colours.

 

Posted in poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Unsettled Landscapes

We live in a world that is beyond our control, and life is in a constant flux of change. So we have a decision to make: keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away or start learning to live within the rain.” – Glenn Pemberton, Hurting with God

Today is a day for walking in the autumn rain with a creamy hot chocolate from Veranda, a favourite coffee bar of mine, revelling in the downward spiral of drifting leaves. The taste of cocoa adds a sweet note to the late afternoon, my time to attend to errands and find sacred space for writing. I’m not as organized as I would like to be and once again I’m sitting upon one of the spring-green coloured padded benches in the children’s section of our local library – all the adult tables and chairs having been taken by other patrons escaping the rain. It is a stark reminder that there are often not enough spaces for us all but I’m happy to share, breathing in the colour of life unfolding all around me!

My future self will leave home with a thermos of hot chocolate or herbal tea, notebook and pen in hand to find a spot upstairs in the community centre that shares space with the library – there are tables and shelves where one can settle in for a bout of writing underneath a large skylight. A little one has just joined me on the bench as I write, he’s thrown his wet red jacket to the floor as well as a couple of brightly coloured books, has just kicked off his tiny green rubber boots, grabbed one of the books and has settled right in. I can see his blue striped sock feet, softly kicking in the air from the corner of my eye…

Beneath the beauty of this world, however, is an ugly reality lurking, our shining city by the sea is being sold one square foot at a time. Buildings that I thought might be here forever are being torn down, fading “Moving Sale” messages cover local notice boards and “For Rent” signs are popping up on holy ground in front of apartment buildings where vacancies were once just wishful thinking. Large supermarkets and small beloved eateries have closed, their front windows carefully covered in brown paper waiting for new energy or money to open their doors once again, So many of us who have lived in this beautiful corner of the world for decades are left holding our breath…the reality of homelessness never far from our thoughts and conversations. I see more familiar faces collecting bottles from the bins in our alleyway – there are also many new faces sitting on pieces of cardboard asking for help, any help, it breaks my heart. I recently walked by a busker on iconic Robson St. whose words touched me as he called out, “Can you spare anything, it would help make a not so good day, great” and I thought, this is something I can do right now, share some spare coin to help change someone’s day. Perhaps this is all we can do among these unsettling landscapes, help when we can and keep standing our ground.

A stunning autumn scene captured at Lost Lagoon here in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

A beautiful shot of Lost Lagoon looking north at the edge of Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.), it reminds me of Ontario!

A tree of many colours captured near the entrance to Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.)!

A leafy path, a favourite walk to our summer picnic area, located near the Georgia St. entrance to Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

 

Posted in blog, journaling, life, memoir, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Waves

Forgiveness,

it ebbs and flows over

still beating hearts – 

lapping eternally against grainy edges,

to soften any roughness held there

leaving rare sea glass in its wake.

In time, we might stumble upon

this unexpected treasure,

lying innocently upon the surface

of our hopes and dreams,

pick it up…bring it home,

allowing the cycle to begin again.

Forgiveness,

it ebbs and flows over 

still beating hearts…

Beautiful waves captured rolling in onto Coba Beach (at the Gran Bahia) near Tulum, Mexico.

This post was written in response to Debbie’s lovely invitation to write a poem or post on “forgiveness”, https://forgivingconnects.com/2017/10/13/todays-forgiving-fridays-what-is-really-important. Thank you for the inspiration…

 

 

Posted in poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Dancing in the Dark

So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.” – T. S. Eliot

Summer has returned for a few days, giving us a chance to go on one more picnic in the park, drink another iced chocolate and feel the warmth of the sun once again. These idyllic moments encourage me to dance despite the dark, to push back the tide of fear and negativity swirling all around – first by switching off the strident voices emanating from the TV and leaving the ink smudged newspapers for others to read. I think back often on the happiness that coloured our days when we spent time in Mexico cut off from familiar media streams – we relied more on the natural rhythms present in our day to day, life distilled down to exquisite moments comprised of simple pleasures.

There’s a luxurious layer to these fall days upon us, a sense that winter is nipping at the heels of autumn – my eyes keep checking for freshly fallen snow on the mountains that ring the city and so far, I’m greeted by the same dark green forest of summer. In no time at all, it seems, summer vanishes and a warm rain chases me into our local library where I come upon an unusual scene –  a small girl, a fairy child, is building a fort among the adult chairs scattered near the children’s area, meticulously placing soft-cover children’s books one on top of the other. There is a treasure trove of books to touch and sort giving life to these words flowing onto my pages. As the rain gently fell, I watched her father and baby brother for a few moments, both trying to help put the many books back in order on the racks much to the chagrin of the library staff member coming upon the fairytale castle of books. It is magical moments like these that chase darkness away…

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this autumn long weekend and my heart is full – I’ve spent time with my second cousin and her husband drinking fragrant English Breakfast tea at our favourite gathering place while eating a delicious brunch. The threat of rain hovering among a sky full of dark clouds only added to the adventure of hopping on the skytrain out to their Burnaby neighbourhood. This past Sunday found me catching up and sharing a creamy hot chocolate with my friend Yvonne. What a fairytale afternoon it turned out to be – the sun came out summer-warm and a soft breeze gently shook colourful leaves down from the trees, birds chased each other among the berry laden ones leaving me feeling, that yes, it is still possible to find oneself dancing in the dark!

A touch of fall captured in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

We sat on Terry’s favourite hill near Brockton Oval in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.) on Thanksgiving Day enjoying some more fall colour!

We came across two woodpecker trees on another favourite trail in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.). I could not believe how lush the ferns still looked!

This beautiful Barred owl decided to hang out at the Rhododendron Garden here in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.) just minutes from our apartment building, reminding me of Harry Potter!

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Posted in blog, journaling, life, memoir, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Fall Away

Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.” – William Allingham

As my feet moved through the detritus left from recently fallen acorns lying on the unwashed sidewalk, a leaf that came rushing at me turned out to be a mottled brown moth buffeted by a late summer breeze seeking shelter upon a still green bush. These tiny matte jewels falling from the mighty oak tree remind me of how fleeting the days are, leaving me feeling unsettled until I make safe passage into the new season. There are chestnuts falling as well and the road to the sun reflected upon the sparkling sea is becoming more narrow each day, making me yearn for that wide brilliant swathe once again. It’s out of my hands, the seasons are turning, performing their perfect dance, making sure their best profile is on view for all to see.

The primal scent of woodsmoke has begun to permeate the air among the sunshine and scarlet tipped leaves – once lush gardens are being put to bed and I find myself doing the same, refreshing some small corner as I wander through my rooms. It’s time to wrap sun-kissed limbs in layers, fill the apartment with the music of Leonard Cohen, disappear into the realm of Harry Potter and eat crisp apples on walks through the forest.

This organic starship that we are all living on is beginning to fray at the edges, our fragile bodies that harbour heaven-wrought miracles are tearing each other apart. With the change in seasons comes a knowing, before it’s too late we must stop the drum beat of hate battering at our defences, let its hypnotizing rhythm fall away so we can continue to come across a scattering of silver stars on a favourite walk, be followed home by a chattering Steller’s jay and eternally move through space and time.

It’s time to say good-bye to the outdoor markets of summer – this shot is from the 1st ever Mexico Market held at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, B.C.

A Saturday morning ritual – visiting the Vancouver Farmer’s Market here in the West End, buying fresh fruits and vegetables each week was a joy!

A recent must see to celebrate fall was to check out the new Steller sea lion exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium (Vancouver, B.C.).

The two sea lions in the pool seemed to pose for the cameras, they were fun to watch and seemed to be enjoying their new facility!

 

Posted in blog, journaling, life, memoir, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Foraging

We keep telling ourselves

it isn’t going to happen,

that our world will not be

destroyed by a madman or two

hurling threats and insults before

picking up their toys.

The image of what might be

cuts too deep,

leaving me to forage through

seed thoughts,

separating golden wheat from the chaff,

searching for faith, hope and redemption,

life’s lost lexicon –

and if push comes to shove,

praying for resurrection.

A beautiful piece of found art at my favourite grove in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

 

Posted in poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments