Holiday Field Notes

 The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green that it looked a perfect grove, from every part of which bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The above quote reminds me that I’m a “crow person” at heart, I’m forever chasing all flashes or glimmers of light. At this time of year, here in the West End, with the holiday season upon us, my eyes are happy to take it all in.

For me, it usually begins with that first sighting of apartment windows decorated in colourful lights and my bed left unmade on the day Terry and I  make our way into the park to our summer picnic area at the Railway Concession. It is here where the many volunteer firemen/women from the Metro Vancouver area have been setting up for the annual “Bright Nights” – they spend many hours of their free time putting up and decorating with what might be miles of stringed lights. It officially opens today but Terry and I know of an inner trail that hugs the fencing around the miniature train tracks allowing us a delicious preview. To walk on this trail, covered in a blanket of damp autumn leaves with just a hint of frost and see the many twinkling lights in the quiet, is magical. Each year the display is different, the more than life-size polar bear figure, the many nutcracker soldiers, the choir singers and various angels just waiting for us to find them. Starting today one can enter this magical place with a small donation, the hard work of these volunteers results in the donations helping burn victims healing in our hospital Burn Units. Terry and I are always happy to do this – the lights twinkle the brightest from 3 pm onward and we often plan our walks near this time to make sure we capture the full, dazzling effect! And as Huguette reminded me, there is always good hot chocolate to be had and freshly popped organic popcorn as well. To walk among the fragrant cedars, sipping hot chocolate and hearing the ravens call, is a particular joy of mine and heralds the coming of winter for me. As December is just around the corner, I invite you to share some of your particular joys with me and my other readers in any comments you might want to leave! A small gift for one of my readers (you know who you are!) is the “Visual Notes” page I created, it can be found when one clicks on the “About” page icon; I was asked to include more photographs and I’m happy to oblige as there were many images captured as well as notes taken both here and there.

Journal Excerpt: November 29, 2011

There is a scent of incense in the air, it is my Mexican reminder of the coming holiday season. It is so exotic especially on a beautiful, sunny morning with the jungle and ocean all around.

I found it hard to write last week’s post, I wanted to express and share so many feelings and emotions as well as add a hopeful note to all of the heartfelt words out there and after many moments of thought I had to post it even if I felt it might be imperfect. I want to end this post with the vision of incense sticks burning and the Dru yoga mantra of, “Peace, Peace, Peace” and a thank you to those who let me know that my vision for this post came through, you warmed this crow’s heart!


Captured Mexican Sparkle in Centro


About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
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8 Responses to Holiday Field Notes

  1. Le Fabulist says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the ‘Bright Nights’ display in Stanley Park. Each year as I wander around I feel like a wide-eyed young child excited in front of the magical displays. Don’t anyone feel bashful about retrieving a moment from your long ago past, it does bring warmth to oftentimes jaded hearts. Thank you Kim, you really are a source of lovely thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you once again! I love the idea of you wandering through the “Bright Nights” display, too. We are also lucky to have some neighbourly displays to enjoy as well-Kim Hunter’s beautiful window paintings saluting Vancouver and Sonia’s holiday touches, hanging colourful decorations on the tree branches outside her apartment building.


  2. ugetse says:

    Oh Kim, it is not only your profound writing and your ultra generosity that make me love you. You are a CROW. The crows are one of my favourite birds. Love their intelligence and their dark beauty. We will meet at Bright Lights for sure. Who knows maybe Jean-Michel will be there also.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember both you & Suzanne talking of crows at many of your gatherings, I now find myself drawn to the image of crows and they show up on cards, on the cover of books I’m drawn to or on my balcony railing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. says:

    Crow fan here as well. I didn’t notice them in Montreal. Rather, I discovered them when I moved to Vancouver. I lived in right by a tree. I began hearing many of them caw at once and loudly. When I looked out my window, that’s when I realized that the entire community banded together to protect each others’ nests. It was an amazingly and daunting display of collaboration. Another time, I saw a crow wake. Again, I heard all the crows cawing. This time, when I looked out my window, there were dozens lined up along branches. They were surrounding and looking down on a crow lying on the grass dead. It was sad and lovely. I marvel at them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy to read that you’re a crow fan, I’ve noticed that since living so close to the park, I’ve become more aware of their unique behaviors, I especially love their flight each dusk to their roosting area out at Stillcreek. Thank you for sharing and I’m enjoying checking out your blog, I really like seeing your picture (different every time!) and loved your very first post!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on anotetohuguette and commented:

    I’m re-blogging this very seasonal post as a shout-out to the volunteer firemen/women who spend countless hours creating the magic that is our “Bright Nights” display in beautiful Stanley Park – it opened at the beginning of this week and I’m looking forward to walking through it once again!


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