“ The mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.” – Plutarch – On Listening
Snow hasn’t quite fallen yet but the scents of winter make an appearance in both my mother’s kitchen and mine lately, filling our homes with warming spices as homemade soup bubbles away on stovetop and counter.
Spring-like temperatures and sunshine have nudged delicate white snowdrops and hardy crocuses from their beds, their early arrival making way for creamy camellia and pale pink cherry blossoms. A swathe of bright yellow daffodils have laid claim to a hillside down by the ocean creating a postcard setting rivalling any day in a spring yet to come.
There seems to be a reluctance to let go of December’s sparkle and glitter – amid murmured gasps at the Vancouver Art Gallery’ first fashion exhibit, Guo Pei: Beyond Couture, I walked through rooms filled with posing mannequins draped in fairy-tale gowns meticulously embroidered with metallic floss and sewn with the finest Swarovski crystals, their slim silhouettes casting magical shadows upon the walls, some wearing crowns on their heads like ancient Arthurian queens. Mingling among eager young fashion students and the many who couldn’t stop taking pictures, one lone woman took careful notes at the feet of each mannequin as I belatedly realized my own notebook was still at home, leaving me hopeful that my memory of this enchanting afternoon would find its way onto waiting pages. After all the glorious colour and shine, we were treated to a gallery wall screening of Guo Pei’s opulent designs – as each lovely model walked down the darkling runway, gasps from the art gallery’s patrons continued, leaving me with a feeling that the festive days of December had indeed lingered on.
This year could well be a winter without snow but with several weeks yet before the turning of a new season, this remains to be seen – a recent walk through the damp and moss draped forest revealed newly unfurled spring green ferns amid bushes still heavy with pearl-like snowberries. A sweet silence greeted us, broken only by the call of a lone raven among the gentle sounds of grazing chickadees foraging upon the forest floor, deep winter casting its hypnotic spell, weaving a different but no less wonderful world.