“ There is a time in the last few days of summer when the ripeness of autumn fills the air.” – Rudolfo Anaya
The marine air that we were promised has come to blow the coastal smoke away, although there is still pewter coloured smoke weaving its way through concrete and organic structures alike. The sky is a milky blue, the sunlight filtered and because of our very dry summer, there is a scent of autumn in the air. Walking through our favourite trail after a tasty lunch at the Urban Forest Café, we’ve found ourselves once again sitting on a bench at Beaver Lake listening to the sound of the leaves talking as a lone raven takes to the sky. We have a perfect view of the float planes as they crest the stand of forest on their way to Coal Harbour to drop off passengers from points unknown.
We all need places that are green, places far from the fray of everyday life where we can gather our thoughts, to read like the young Harry Potter look-alike we came upon on Cathedral trail as we made our way home – bare feet perched on a crumbling log, deep into mysterious pages, a fairy-tale image just waiting to be captured on my own pages. Apparently he reads here most afternoons, tucked off the main trail, and I think that’s magical.
These are some of the fleeting summer moments I’m compelled to gather in spite of the rising red sun and a sense of foreboding as smoke continues to touch our world. Today, the warm scent of cedar and wild mint is keeping us company on our summer trail after another picnic in the park. Blackberries are hard to find as autumn gently wanders in, so we settle on a log in a clearing to watch a preening Rufous-Sided Towhee sunning itself on a hill of moss as robins fly over our heads in search of berries, too. The rich, oxygenated air is a joy to breathe in after waking up to an eerily beautiful red sun, we are thankful to have big sky to look at without smoke to mar one of the last days of summer. As I make my way home I stop in at the Stanley Park Community Garden for a wander, it’s quiet now, bathed in colours of scarlet, copper and gold. White and currant coloured berries alongside tightly closed seed pods have replaced the pastel hues of spring – how sweet to see tiny sparrows perched inside a changing bush feasting on the insects found there. This is autumn asking us to awaken from the languorous days of summer…the season of foraging wasps and orb-spinners lighting the way before the rains come.
This post is dedicated to a beautiful artist in our neighbourhood who succumbed to the smoky skies, Judy Cameron (February 19, 1938 – August 19, 2018) – I still look for her selling her cards at the corner of Haro & Cardero.