Broken Clouds

Not All Storms Come To Disrupt Your Life…Some Come To Clear Your Path – Goalcast

New windows have been installed in our apartment rental and on rainy evenings I’ve noticed a different rhythm, a staccato beat as the drops strike a gentle lullaby before sleep takes over.

The noise, dust and disruption has chased us to Vancouver Island where we’ve found shelter in a woodland studio amid towering cedar and gnarly arbutus. Winter sunlight has graced us twice resulting in languid walks through beloved forest trails and on the windswept beach where swathes of drying seaweed resemble undulating dunes.

This sylvan retreat guarantees respite from broken clouds – late winter storms and the warning whispers of an impending pandemic. There have been many stolen hours without the worrisome news, time spent walking, drinking coffee and cups of fragrant rooibos tea as the sun comes out to paint the dark green leaves of the many trees silver. We’ve arrived at a different time of year on this indulgent trip and these last days of winter have brought some unexpected delights – being woken each morning by the haunting call of a raven, the blue sky overhead filled with playful eagles calling out to each other and clear nights for stargazing with only the glowing moon to light the way through quiet forest paths.

It’s these delights now that calm me as the world holds its breath as an unleashed pandemic runs its course…

I’ve been for many walks in nature looking for love and human contact albeit at 6 feet apart on forest trails and by the ocean nearer to home – I found it observing a woman praying on a bench facing the sea, in words traced in the sand, “Have a good day”, coming upon solo picnics in the park and people tucked away among the trees, sitting on fallen stumps with their books and take-out coffee cups nearby.

We are doing well at the moment; we make a big pot of homemade vegetable soup (Spinach & White Bean), decanting it to freeze for 7 or 8 lunches and lately, have gone back to our Mexican meals – making a batch of refried beans from scratch to accompany omelettes, quesadillas and yummy fish tacos.

Each time I go out for a wander, I’m drawn to a grocery store or small ethnic convenient store where I find the item I used to buy regularly – most of them lost to panic buying -items that are kept on a wish list I carry inside my head and I’m grateful. We will get through this, find ourselves on the other side, find another pause filled with wonder and relief.

A driftwood fort constructed on Rathtrevor Beach near Parksville on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

On a walk back from the forest to our woodland studio at Tigh-Na-Mara, we came upon heaps of dry seaweed on Rathrevor Beach.

At this time of year (late winter) we noticed a lot of black rabbits and burrows scattered throughout the natural vegetation in Rathrevor Park.

Covid-19 update: I was sad to hear that ferry service to the part of Vancouver Island we love the most has been suspended for 60 days, another step in holding the line against an invisible enemy.




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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77 Responses to Broken Clouds

  1. calmkate says:

    So very glad you are enjoying lockdown in such a quiet scenic environment … and managing to find those illusive ingredients πŸ™‚

    I’m ever so glad people are finding peace in their solitude or companionship with their family .. this could be a very good thing except for those suffering and dying … but the rest of us may come out better people πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    The cycles of nature are such a source of comfort to me these days. Glad you’ve been getting in some trail walking during this time of instability. Keeps us sane!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re very fortunate to have shelter in such a place during this time. The woods and nature in general are such a balm to my soul. Enjoy and be safe Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our woodland shelter was a fortuitous decision, our four nights there were enjoyed before the “stay home” protocols were beginning to make themselves known!
      Back home here on the mainland, we’re very grateful to live in a city with the forest and ocean on our doorstep…
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Brad! I hope you continue to keep healthy and safe in your work as an essential employee…each evening at 7 pm our neighbourhood opens their windows and balcony doors to cheer “you” on with clapping, playing instruments and banging pots. We have a 9 o’clock gun that goes off each evening just off of our seawall, it now goes off at 7 o’clock!


  4. Don says:

    What a way to go through the lockdown. Sounds like heaven. I imagined the smell of that soup you described, even its taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish we could’ve stayed, it’s a beautiful retreat! Our soup’s alchemy begins with sautΓ©ed onion, garlic and celery (3 stalks) with diced/sliced carrots (3) and one parsnip. When our galley kitchen is filled with that heavenly scent we begin to add one box of chicken or vegetable broth (low or no salt if we can get it!), a can of low salt diced tomatoes with a can of rinsed white kidney beans. The rest of the magic comes with a medley of frozen vegetables, cauliflower florets/greens and the drained spinach (chopped) with a teaspoon of dried oregano and a half a teaspoon of cumin. Throughout the simmering process, we add cups of filtered water depending on how much broth we want! It changes each week depending on what we can find on our store shelves! I’ll be having a bowl of yesterday’s homesteading efforts in a few minutes…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wishing you such continued happy moments and well being.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So good to hear you can make delicious soup and enjoy the blessings of nature Kim. Your time in the studio sounds like a beautiful retreat you can revisit in meditations whenever you wish. Take care and stay healthy πŸ’œ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • We arrived home from our retreat on a ferry filled with excited hockey fans on their way to the Vancouver game, it was the last one of the season – we look back at our time on the Island with gratitude, we chose to go at just the right time!
      I think often of your post, Xenia, where you describe creating new recipes from items not picked up by others, our soup changes each week but we keep the spinach, white beans and diced tomatoes as the base if we’re lucky enough to find these precious items. Take good care and keep safe…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ellie894 says:

    A lovely and encouraging share filled with gentle hope which is ever so needed these days. Thank you, and take good care πŸ’πŸŒ·

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Somehow, I knew that you’d find a way to find beauty and comfort in nature and the changing seasons, Kim. Peaceful and graceful writing, as always, your posts leave me feeling serene. I spent hours outside yesterday in my garden and didn’t think about the pandemic once. I hope that others find the tranquility you describe. Take care, my friend. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds like heaven, so lucky! Stay safe. πŸ’–


  10. Robin says:

    I’m so glad to hear you are safe and well. This was so beautifully written. I love your descriptions of your retreat and of looking for human contact. I do a little of that when I go out on my walks, looking to be sure there are still other people out there in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Miriam says:

    It sounds like amidst the chaos and worries of the world you’re finding your own patch of peace, calmness and beauty. I’m so glad you have this lovely landscape to enjoy Kim. Stay well and safe my friend. πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Luanne says:

    I am glad you are in a beautiful place with yummy food. But are you stranded without the ferry? 60 days is a long time! Keep safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Erica/Erika says:

    Kim, Your heading quote is a great reminder. Beautiful photos. The irony is how I live relatively close to these areas, yet they are a world apart right now. We go for walks in our neighbourhood only. Day 23 now. I still count my blessings. And, yes, β€œholding the line against an invisible enemy. Take care. β€œWe will get through this.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pam Lazos says:

    Beautifully captured. We must all do our part to keep gratitude foremost in our minds while we wait for all the anger, and worry in the world to dissipate. Much love πŸ’• to you during (and after) that process.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am so glad you managed to escape deep into nature to enjoy such a blessed retreat. May you continue to enjoy your beloved walks near home, and navigate safely to the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. markmkane says:

    I hope you and your family are staying safe Kimberlee. It definitely is a chaotic time where all of our lives are disrupted. Your words ring true even for me here in Hawaii, but the one thing good from all this is that strangers are genuinely taking care of one another in this desolate times. I know this will come to pass someday and then hopefully we all will be a little bit wiser for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are trying our best to keep healthy and safe, Mark! The news from our government is that this current situation world-wide will be our new normal for several months yet…I’m noticing lots of small kindnesses on my daily walks through our neighbourhood and beloved park/forest, it brightens one’s day! I plan to include these thoughtful gestures in an upcoming post.
      I hope you and your family are finding some peaceful moments amid the chaos…


  17. Ali Grimshaw says:

    Thank you for sharing your slice of life. Somehow it is calming to hear of your walks and small joys. We will get through this. We are stronger together. Take good care of your heart and health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your beautiful words, Ali! I’m feeling calmer today, my daily walks in nature are helping to ground me and are always so inspirational.
      These are tough times and you’re right, we will get through this and be stronger for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Robyn Haynes says:

    Kim I felt I was right there with you, enjoying your delicious soup and wandering the tranquil woodland paths in the embrace of nature. It was just the right medicine for how I am feeling this morning. I’m grateful for your sharing with us. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Magical as ever…and I loved the juxtaposition of hot soup/fragrant Mexican food and moody weather. I am reading this on April 13, and the prospect of impending “normalcy” is no where in sight…so grateful for things that haven’t changed…your amazing gift for writing being one of the best πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Your sylvan retreat sounds after my heart. Tranquil and secluded, it must bring you such solace, and the occasional human sighting the reassuring touch to your daily routine. It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of this disruption yet, Kim. Often, I think this must be an odd and long-winded dream from which we shall all wake up. Someday. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. michnavs says:

    I am happy to see your making the most out of our current situation.
    How is Shirley doing?

    Keep safe always Kim and send my love to your mom..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful Kimberlee, I love the soft rhythm of this post, like taking a long slow walk through the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

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