“Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.” – Edwin Louis Cole
Most of the leaves have fallen like stars now, their caramel and maple scents replaced with an alchemy of wood smoke and Arctic air. In the last day or so, snow has fallen like icing sugar upon the local mountains and the winter festivals have woken up from their year long slumber.
A recent walk down to the ocean on a trail murmuring with magic gifted me with rare stillness, slowing down racing thoughts, the quiet broken briefly by a lone eagle’s call. Just steps away, the water lay calm in winter colours of icy blue and burnished silver. A beautiful black and white malamute with eyes of unearthly blue stood upon wet rock near its master, posing for pictures beside the seawall, his wildness shimmering beneath domestic illusion. Other delights to admire were the driftwood sculptures and seaweed mandala designs left upon the sand by the receding King tides, having returned some of the logs taken from the beaches only a day or so ago!
Days like this, deeply felt, are even more precious since my father’s passing. He lived below our suite, just a short flight of stairs away – even now, I find myself peeking out our windows searching for the warm light that let us know that all was well. His rooms are empty now with someone new poised to move in, a reminder that life is never static.
Change is indeed afoot, a development sign has sprung up like a poison mushroom on our street announcing a 19 storey new build to replace a nostalgic three-storey providing housing and hotel apartment suites for rent. We enjoyed the simple amenities on offer there when Terry’s sister came out for a long stay holiday a few years ago. I have fond memories of delicious meals eaten together at the dining room table before retiring to the comfortable couches, the coffee table holding glasses of red wine and bowls of salty potato chips. Those rooms offered us respite after busy days exploring the city, the thought of them and the beautiful garden being replaced by glass-like progress saddens my heart. It sets a dangerous precedent for our bucolic neighbourhood tucked away from the fray.
Hoarding moments and experiences like the squirrels scurrying among fallen nuts and seeds, I watch as autumn’s bright flame makes way for winter’s long shadow, counting down the days to this year’s bittersweet end.