“ There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.” – Josephine Hart
There is still ice on the rooftops and it’s bone chilling cold outside, a new year has dawned from the ashes of December and with it, a beautiful blank page. Sitting up high here in our apartment, I’m feeling cozy and warm – when I take a moment to look down, I see a neighbour’s dog crazily running back and forth on a snow covered patch of brown grass happily writing on his own blank page while his owner watches, coffee in hand. A profound lesson is unfolding on that sodden stretch and I take note, perhaps my blank pages can be just as fluid and full of unbridled joy? It’s certainly worth a try…
A break in the weather of snow and ice ( 5 degrees Celsius with sunshine!) found us leaving the apartment early one morning to go for a walk on the now clear pavement of the eastern side of the seawall. On any given day, it’s a very peaceful walk – one can hear the water lapping gently against the high stone wall, watch the various migrating ducks lazily paddling about or take in the glorious vista of the many sailboats bobbing on the rippling wavelets. As spring begins to unfold, this very same path often takes us to the totems – where we usually share a delicious hot chocolate while sitting in the sun. On this lovely, sunny morning it was tempting but the snowy trails of the tree scented forest called louder and we especially wanted to see the “Bright Nights” display one last time – the twinkling lights no longer lit by the modern pulse of electricity but by the warm rays of the sun.
As we walked on some of our favourite trails, we were accompanied by the sound of dripping trees, the calls of resident woodpeckers and a constant chattering from squirrels who apparently did not want to share their enchanted forest with us. I rejoiced in the hidden pockets of crunchy snow, the mysterious icy mist and the beauty of seeing two bald eagles landing on a tall, dark green cedar – with the cold scent of winter drawing deeper into my lungs every step I took, I felt like a phoenix rising, ready to grasp those blank pages and meet this brand new year head on.
Journal Entry: January 11, 2005 – Paloma del Mar Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
It’s hard to believe that I’m writing January; I still feel that I’ve been here in Mexico for a long time. We had a refreshing walk on the malecon this morning and even saw some dolphins in the bay. The water was very calm and a beautiful sea blue colour. Both the dolphins and the whales are keeping to quieter waters. We haven’t seen as many as in previous years – there seems to be a lot of boat traffic.
We met our friend Ted (from Campbell River, B.C.) for breakfast and coffee at Cafe San Angel. He is a very sweet man and we enjoyed talking with him. We met him here in Vallarta in 1999. He leaves for Melaque next Wednesday, so we’ll meet up with him next Tuesday at Cafe San Angel as we leave Vallarta on the 28th. I’m not sure if we’ll see him again this trip, he may return to Vallarta in a few days or weeks.