“ The lights became stars, which became streaks in the grayspace and then networks of fading shimmers.” – Ashim Shanker
Recently this week, after another spring day turned into summer, with the windows left open long after sunset, I experienced something very primal, so close, I thought I might be able to reach out and touch it.
It was lightning in the sky above the mountains that first caught my eye, the bright flashes of forked power reminding me that there is more going on just outside the open balcony door than in the reading of a cool magazine or the evening news in the background with its often heartbreaking or fearful stories. As I became more engaged in watching nature’s fireworks display, I noticed a large flat-looking cloud just above that was moving slowly across the dark sky. To my surprise, I could see lightning activity periodically flashing in the centre of the cloud and could hear an almost constant rumbling. In moments, I realized that it was creating its own weather as it passed by – I noticed a drop in temperature and then a light breeze that was becoming more brisk. It might have been foolish to step onto the balcony, barefoot, with only the balcony floor above for shelter but I wanted to feel this cloud’s passing and in moments I did. I could taste and smell the rain before it came down like a small fierce tropical storm creating music as the big, fat drops hit the balcony railing. The cloud then moved above and away from me like a giant starship cloaked in dark tendrils of even darker ether, taking away its inclement weather but not before giving me a glimpse of my true nature and leaving behind a singular joy – that we have a deep connection to the primal and that we are one.
Another singular joy is the ritual of taking food outside, to sit near the ocean and forest, eating a simple meal, often with a basket of just cooked fries on the side. Terry and I found ourselves doing just that earlier this week, the warmer weather having called to us. While we sat at the Lumberman’s Arch concession, we noticed a young couple up near a trail just above us, it looked like they were foraging for something among the vines and bushes near a tree stump. Having recently met a First Nation woman harvesting the tips from some cedar branches for upcoming ceremonies in the forest not so long ago, we were curious as to what this couple might be looking for. Terry wandered over to have a word and shortly, Lucas and Leslie asked to join our table to show us their find. They were enjoying the last day of their holiday doing some “letter box” hunting – a quest-like game that originated in England long ago where a box containing a letter would be buried in a farmer’s field for others to find. I had heard of “geo-caching” but this particular game is different – clues are left on a site, atlasquest.com, and participants follow them to find small notebooks with a stamp (in this case, a stamp carved into the shape of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell!), once located one must leave the date, a thank you and stamp the page with one’s own stamp – have coloured stamp pads, will travel! It was a pleasure to meet this very nice couple from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and learn something new – looking through Leslie’s book we had a beautiful snapshot of their travels and found the stamps that she collected on the pages to be both witty and fantastical! What I took from that beautiful day was a reminder to always be curious and open, that just around a corner or right in front of us, there might just be a singular joy for us to notice and treasure.
Journal Entry: January 24, 2005 – Olas Altas
This is our week for doing all our favourite Vallarta activities – we are once again at Cafe San Angel to journal write and for Terry, to work on his songwriting. I have the camera with me for the pictures that are still in my mind – I took a picture of the humpback whale sculpture on the malecon this morning, a symbol of the beautiful whales who visit the bay each year, the artist is Octavio Gonzales.
On Saturday I had a very healing afternoon – I joined our Paloma del Mar hotel neighbours down at the beach at the foot of our street. The sun was warm and there was a lovely breeze. I did some reading; laying on the sand I could see the Westin hotel where we stayed previously in the distance and looking toward Centro, I could see the church, an exotic note rising above the tall palms. Afterwards, I joined the group for a very cold cervesa at a funky beach bar complete with a Mexican jukebox! I hope to lay on the beach this afternoon…
San Francisco Post Card Note to Huguette: May 17, 2007
Hola, Huguette! We are just back from our whirlwind trip down South – lots of walking through vibrant neighbourhoods (exploring Lombard St., Alamo Square, the Mission area), eating delicious and generous portions of food as well as lots of window (and actual!) shopping!