Sojourn

 Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

Three inky black crows have just landed on the neighbouring roof’s railing and they look like they might be up to some mischief, their bright eyes looking upon an autumn tableau in flux. All around are trees in various states of undress, their burnished finery slipping off bare brown limbs and puddling on the damp ground. The warmer days from just a week or so ago seem to be forever gone, replaced by an alien landscape of bare and dripping trees. There is a constant mist rising from the aromatic emerald depths of the forest and the odd tree still resplendent in its golden gown fools one into thinking a ray of sunlight has pierced through the dark canopy to cast its light and chase away the gloom. As the days begin their inexorable march into winter, the brightly coloured Mexican blanket has come out to grace the end of the bed, hot chocolate tins are tucked into the kitchen cupboard and yes, the winter jackets have already been slipped on.

Just outside my window through a break in the bank of smoke coloured clouds, I can see both a beautiful rainbow and the recent snowfall on one of our local mountains (Grouse Mountain) reminding me that winter is coming…

It will have to be the warmer days of autumn that we experienced on our recent trip back east (to Ontario) to warm our hearts – we were lucky to spend some lovely days in the country in the small town of Paris visiting not one but two of Terry’s sisters and their families. It was a riot of good food, glasses of dark red wine and warm fires, wonderful memories to chase away the chill here in Vancouver. We stayed for several nights in a beautiful stone house (over 150 years old) on a wide expanse of land falling asleep to the sound of howling coyotes on our first night. Terry’s sister and her husband had just purchased it two months prior, a dream come true for them! It was hard not to fall in love with the charm and magic – after a full day it was a joy to tuck up underneath the warm blankets on the bed, leave the small window open and let the enchantment of the country night waft in. I have two memories that take me back to that exquisite stone house in a heartbeat – standing with Terry’s brother Garth on a dark country road in front of the property, drawn by the moon ( looking very large in the night sky!) and the beautiful celestial light show far from city light pollution while drinking a late night cup of green chai tea in hand. And walking down Governors Road West ( a First Nation trail used by the Canadian and US armies during the war of 1812) with a mug of hot chocolate one early morning to take pictures of the autumn clad trees standing on either side of the road creating a tree tunnel effect with their touching branches. On our way back to the “Farm” we saw a white-tailed deer jump over the wire fence of a neighbour’s property and bound very fast down the gravel road. The wildness of this special place still calls us.

The golden splendour of the ginkgo tree captured at the Rose Garden in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

The golden splendour of the ginkgo tree captured at the Rose Garden in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

The beautiful 150 year old stone house belonging to Terry's sister and husband in the country near Paris, Ontario.

The beautiful 150 year old stone house belonging to Terry’s sister and husband in the country near Paris, Ontario.

The tree tunnel on Governors Road West, a study in shadow and light.

The tree tunnel on Governors Road West, a study in shadow and light.

A spontaneous road trip and picnic found us at Paris Plains church and cemetery to have a closer look at the cobblestone facade of the church and take some pictures. Terry’s other sister and husband were married there many years ago, being there brought back some good memories. It was so nice to sit on the steps of the community building, eat our delicious turkey sandwiches and take in the pastoral atmosphere.  Afterwards we hopped into the SUV and headed out for some more exploring, finding ourselves on Three Bridges Road to take pictures of a Mennonite meeting house, a large white building with beautiful, simple lines – we could see posts and black link chain for the horse and buggies to be tied up to, with a circular gravel road for them to enter and exit this peaceful place. Neatly lined up headstones all cut in the same rectangular shape could also be seen. We spent several minutes lost in this small slice of country with the scent of neighbouring farms in the air as a very strong wind shook a waterfall of burnt orange leaves down on us as if chased by ghosts all around. These are the images that warm my heart and chase the whisper of winter away…

The unique cobblestone facade of the Paris Plains church in Paris, Ontario where we had our autumn picnic!

The unique cobblestone facade of the Paris Plains church in Paris, Ontario where we had our autumn picnic!

A lovely view of the charming town of Paris, Ontario reminding one of Europe with it's older buildings located beside the river.

A lovely view of the charming town of Paris, Ontario reminding one of Europe with it’s older buildings located beside the river.

 

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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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23 Responses to Sojourn

  1. Jim says:

    nice pics and post. thanks for taking us along.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shirley Ross says:

    Another wonderful memory. They are the warmth that surrounds you as skin thins. These happenings bring back my early childhood, as my Dad had family in Montreal, and of course in his beloved Ontario where he was born. Love the pics. Thanks love, for another wonderful post.
    Love Mom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ontario was very special this year, we saw and experienced so much – I’m glad I found the odd moment to write down all the images I wanted to capture. Thank you (always) for your support, Mom, it means a lot!

      Like

  3. Vincent Mars says:

    Autumn is so much better than fall. And what a quaint church they have there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a lovely, lovely and evocative read…poetic…you write such beautiful pictures…and the photos are fantastic….and, that 150 year old house is so wonderful! Your writing never gets old…thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rachel McKee says:

    So lovely! Those pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You do take some beautiful trips! I am finally catching up on my reader…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A beautiful account and lovely pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One trip in the 1980’s and Vancouver became my all-time favorite city! So, so beautiful….It made me think that THIS was what cities in the U.S. were SUPPOSED to look like before we blew it with wanton commercialism. Thank you for the “refresher course” …. (sigh!) I have travel envy…. (and P.S….Crows are ALWAYS up to something!

    Liked by 1 person

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