“ Beauty is the promise of happiness.” – Edmund Burke
Even a late Spring storm is a thing of beauty – as I look out my kitchen window, I can see a pure white swan swimming gracefully across the now calm dark green water of the lagoon, seemingly unaware of the fast moving clouds above. The forest beyond looks moody as if waiting for that moment when the cloud clotted sky will break open and shed it’s burden of cool rain. The sky this evening is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, there are masses and layers of smoky smudged colours in shades of dark grey, pale yellow, that lagoon dark green that I love, as well as slashes of blinding white with delicate brush stokes of light blue. As the colours begin to fade away, becoming lost in a darkening swathe, I find myself holding my breath – earlier in the day there was that thrilling sound of thunder and it feels like there might be again tonight.
I phoned my dear neighbour Huguette earlier to let her know about the extreme beauty just outside her windows and smiled as she said she hadn’t left her window in quite awhile, the sky capturing her attention with it’s coat of many colours. As I sit here now at my desk to write these words, a silvery flash of lightening has suddenly streaked across the night-coloured sky and with that rumble of thunder finally, acoustically present, the tension begins to leave my body and I’m able to breathe normally again.
Night has indeed fallen now and the storm that was brewing outside my windows can no longer be seen, as I fall asleep tonight, I hope to hear either the soothing sound of a staccato rain or the lion-like rumble of thunder, both lullabies born from a mountain’s heart.
After this unusual storm, that left snow on Grouse Mountain and flooding in North Vancouver, I can still see evidence of it’s power in the many cotton candy shaped clouds left behind in the sky this morning not quite hiding the pale sunshine trying to make it’s way towards my windows. I met Huguette briefly yesterday and we marveled over the storm at a tiny new Italian restaurant in our neighbourhood called “Verifood” (located at the corner of Robson St. & Denman St.), she with her cappuccino and I with my chai tea while sharing a generous square of tiramisu, it’s lovely layers melting on our tongues. It occurred to me that this was another moment of extreme beauty to wrap myself in, a beauty found in the many small details all around me – the sound of good Italian music in the air, my delighted eyes landing on various small toys belonging to the owner’s children lying among the newspapers on a table nearby and the glossy green of an intriguing door with a mail slot still present hinting to the building’s past as an apartment rental. Living each day with extreme beauty, what a beautiful mantra for the the few that would have us believe that there is no more beauty to be had…
Card Note to Huguette: August 2005
I wanted to give you this card before leaving for Edmonton, Alberta but time ran away from me! I know how much you love the magic of a sunset and this picture shows a stormy one (even better!) over Long Beach on Vancouver Island, B.C. I hope the weather cools down for you; this morning reminds me of Alberta, the air cool, smelling fresh of mountains and earth.
Journal Entry: December 11, 2004 – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
We just finished another delicious breakfast at Cafe San Angel. I love the ritual of pancakes and bread being served with each plate. The bread (bun) is just like the German brochen I ate in Europe ( served in Germany, Austria & Switzerland) – they serve it here the same way, with butter and jam, I think of my childhood in Germany each time I have one.
Yesterday we went to our bank near the church to sort out our rent money (from Canadian dollars to Mexican pesos) for our 2nd month. We also re-visited and explored the Gringo Gulch area, there are some new pictures to be taken there – there are new angles to take of the church. There are also some smaller touches here and there we want to capture – interesting tile work around a doorway, a beautiful altar for the holiday season and a hidden street flanked by bohemian dwellings. We agreed, these are the touches that keep us coming back to Mexico and evokes in us such strong feelings.
Journal Excerpt: December 28, 2004 – Paloma del Mar Hotel
I keep wanting to write about a small arched window in our shower. It is open with a silver wrought iron cover on the outside – we’ve showered in sunlight and by the light of the moon. One day I showered just after sunset and the clouds were touched with pink and silver, I felt like I was in a castle.