“ Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” – Anita Desai
What a beautiful backdrop for writing down my thoughts this morning; a blue heron just flew by the balcony door windows on it’s elegant way back to the heron colony at the edge of Stanley Park and there are a multitude of blossoms falling on to a nearby rooftop looking like a cloud of white butterflies. The blossoms have been falling for a day or two now, getting caught on the invisible currents of the cool wind, revealing a hidden map that one can feel but never see. Just now, as I’m writing this, a small breeze has brought quite a few blossoms in my direction as if to say “hello”.
I’m very thankful for this space I’ve created, it holds my thoughts and threads of the many experiences or small travels that I embark on here in the West End. I very rarely journal write while living here, as I’ve looked back through my bits and pieces, I have only 2 or 3 pages to show for a lifetime of Vancouver living. This is why the book that Huguette created out of all my notes (at least a decade’s worth) is so precious to me, each pasted piece is a memory that I can travel to again and again.
I believe that to travel is to breathe and in the taking in of this fresh air, find myself relaxing, creating new rituals and picking up my favourite pen to begin the process of recording every new image or adventure. A recent gathering at a beautiful home facing the stunning vista of English Bay reminded me of a culinary journey that a group of us experienced at a delightful restaurant that was located on Denman St. (and that is, sadly, now closed), just a short amble from our many homes here in the West End. The name of the restaurant was “Mulan”, with the most original owner named Harry and we most likely will not see the likes of this “Brigadoon” meeting place in our various lifetimes again, it was that special! Harry treated his restaurant like it was his own kitchen at home, he welcomed us in with many delicious and healthy plates of modern Chinese food, all made with love. He introduced each diner to the others and many of us were seduced into visiting his restaurant weekly. Because of this, we were able to travel through the tasting of this good food as well as through the many conversations with our new friends – friends who hailed from New York, Oregon and Japan as well as friends that would find their way to Mexico like we did! At our gathering, there were 5 of us that were part of the “Mulan” group and it was wonderful to talk of those days over wine and good food. We were missing one, our dear friend John, who loved “Mulan” as well as loving his home here in the West End and his other home in Atlin, British Columbia. His beautiful lady invited us to her home and because of this, woke up a part of my traveling life that I did not record, a journey through food and friendship. However, this morning, as I looked through Huguette’s book, there, pasted on one of it’s pages, a picture of Terry and I, smiling in the kitchen of Harry’s heart!
Card Note to Huguette: June 19, 2006
I have finally found that feeling I wanted, to be as free as I am in Mexico, it must have come during the month of May as a beautiful birthday gift!
Journal Entry: October 04, 2012
I’m writing this note in the lobby bar (Cancun) here at the Gran Bahia Coba, an elegant spot open to many breezes – it is relaxing to sit here drinking a beer, a tropical drink or sipping a tea. The guests are well looked after, there are platters of fruit and plates of cookies in strategic spots and peanuts at the bar. We’ve just enjoyed a delicious lunch of ribs (for Terry) and pizza (for me) at the snack bar, “la Casita”. We found a meeting place to do our e-mails – it also has a book exchange as we do not want to bring home our books and magazines.