“ Happiness comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.” – Rose Wilder Lane
I’m sitting on the balcony this morning, pen in hand, with my morning cup of tea nearby. The warm sun feels good on my back and there’s a nice breeze coming in from the East. Summer has finally arrived and I’ve been out on the balcony several mornings this week to enjoy my breakfast of oatmeal with fresh, plump blueberries from recent Saturday visits to our local Farmer’s Market with my Mom. I’m enjoying this lovely ritual each Saturday morning, often walking a different route, each garden-rich street a feast for the eyes. There is a stillness present on my quiet sun-filled walks as well, adding a meditative note – I find myself noticing exquisite small details that I might have missed otherwise, last Saturday revealed random feathers from crows and other birds pinned behind loose bark on the odd tree and feathers that found their way driven into the grassy boulevards after spiraling down from a great height, abandoned art waiting to be discovered.
I gather these thoughts and images adding them each week to the wild rose brambles that wander through my words, hopefully creating a garden, where one might sit and read a beloved book or breathe in a line of otherworldly poetry. Lately, as I wander through other gardens collecting words like fallen seeds, I wonder what errant wildflower will show up in mine, it’s colour or scent, a happy surprise! In the tending of this wild place, no matter how beautiful the roses are, in all their pale pink and dark red glory, one will find the presence of rust, waiting among the brambles to erode any beauty it comes upon.
This erosion sometimes comes in the form of the homeless couple who just a few short weeks ago lived in an apartment just like us, I usually saw them in the places that I frequent, the nearby local library and the Whole Foods store a few streets away, familiar faces living their own lives in my Shangri-La-like neighbourhood. Our way of life here is under threat, many apartment buildings are being torn down with new condo developments being built in their place and if rental stock does replace these older buildings, the higher rents being charged are out of reach for most – our city invited the world many years ago to Expo ’86 hoping to earn the title of a world class city and as I sit here in my crumbling tower, I see that it has and the price that we all must pay for this privilege is much too dear. I promised myself I would reach out to them when I saw them next and got my chance at the library not long ago, I now know their names, Steve and Linda – they are doing well despite being homeless, their belongings are in storage and they have money in the bank, they have lived in my neighbourhood for 30 years and are defiantly staying because this is home.
I know that my garden will always contain the heavenly scent of roses and the flaking dark brown of the many rusting bits that find their way through the brambles, it is up to me to find the way to live in harmony with both, one word at a time.
Journal Entry: November 21, 2011
We had a really nice weekend – we checked out 2 Farmer’s Markets! The small one around the corner from where we live (located at the Paradise Community Centre) was very cool. It was very artisanal, we were hoping to see more vegetables and fruits. The second one (located at the local kindergarten school, El Jardin de Ninos Emiliano Zapata) just down Olas Altas was much larger. We bought some delicious dips from “Archie’s Wok”, guacamole and a cilantro/ginger blend. We also stayed for a snack, a tasty pollo (chicken) tamale and shared a refreshing glass of jamaica juice (made from hibiscus flowers). We ended our snack with a scoop of mango margarita gelato. It was nice to sit in the shade and take it all in. I’m glad we checked them out, it was the perfect Saturday morning outing.