So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” – T.S. Eliot

On a night of rain and whiskey, the raindrops and burn keep worry away during watershed days after the pandemic announcement that has stilled the world. We’ve all retreated to our homes and apartments to do our part in slowing down the spread of a deadly virus gone rogue. Staying in is definitely the new black…

My heart is warmed by more than the odd glass of creamy Irish whiskey, there is the nightly ritual (at 7pm) when our West End neighbourhood erupts into clapping, pot banging and cheers of support for our first responders and healthcare workers. Before that magical hour that I gladly participate in, the news is turned off and a CD put on as we dance and sing through our collection.

Days are spent tackling projects put off over the years as work hours and travel filled our lives – each morning is devoted to the task at hand while afternoons are set aside for daily walks and rare trips to our local grocery store.

In order to practice safe social distancing, I find myself walking quieter streets and lanes, counting every drifting cherry blossom, fragrant hyacinth and sunny daffodil. Park walks often entail exploring pathways and trails once avoided, there are many of us out there doing the same (exercising and getting some fresh air), lonely paths aren’t so lonely anymore and sometimes there are smiles.

Spring never fails to push away the darkness of winter and now, it tempers the toothy edges of an invisible enemy forcing us to dive deep, as it strips away the other masks we all wear, revealing who we truly are. We’ve already witnessed violence in our back alleyway – there was the shocking sound of screaming, blood and two large men fighting, one even body-slamming the other. It shattered a quiet spring afternoon and reminded us of the precariousness of the world right now. Thankfully, many neighbours jumped in to help and the police as well as an ambulance arrived promptly.

At the other end of the spectrum, someone has carefully and artistically created emotional signposts of encouragement, “it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling”, “I hope something good happens to you today”, pinning them to park tree trunks and telephone poles – on my daily walks I’ve come across two of them and they’ve made me smile.

This pause, although worrisome, has changed our sense of time as work and school days go on hiatus – our linear world stretched into a delicious spaciousness. On this long weekend usually set aside for religious gatherings and ceremonies, we hiked into the park to find some of that new found space. In front of a lone mottled stump, we laid a blanket down upon mossy, bright green grass to let all that is spring wash over us (to watch bees lazily fly by and enjoy the sun’s warm rays).

We can hear the low rumble of distant traffic and the odd boat horn on Burrard Inlet, otherwise the silence in between is heavenly. A thermos of rooibos chai tea is waiting to be served as hummingbirds launch themselves straight up to the sky. After a small cup of tea or two, we begin to think about packing up for a walk through the oxygen-rich forest aiming for Beaver Lake, to find a bench there and finish our thermos. As I took my last sip of tea, an eagle flew low over the ground not far from our blanket, and do you know what?, for a moment this pause forced upon us felt almost normal.

A beautiful capture near the Railway Café (closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic) where we picnic in the summer in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

These gorgeous tulip trees stand beside the stone walkway overlooking a grove of cherry trees (this is what we can find waiting for us on our daily walks through the park!).

When I need to practice social distancing, I can climb up these stone stairs from the camellia walkway to let others pass. It’s a peaceful spot especially in the sun…





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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37 Responses to Pause

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad you are able to get outside. I really feel for those who cannot. Nature is such a healing balm during these tense times!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calmkate says:

    love that blossom and your Easter adventure sounds delicious!

    we had a report here of a brother and sister found dead in their apartment … I immediately thought DV. But turns out a neighbour from their apartment block had shot them … so violence is flaring! My heart goes out to all those trapped in violent households with no reprieve or escape.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The blossoms are so lush this year, Kate!

      Staying inside together for long periods of time is very challenging, family systems are under a lot of strain and even with helpful programs/monies being rolled out, the bottom line is that our world feels forever altered and people are starting to falter. My heart struggles with the magnitude of suffering this pandemic has wrought…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marushka says:

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful imagery. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ugetse says:

    Thank you Kim for another note. I love the pause and your opening quote from Eliot. I must say this pause would be perfect if people would not die. I love this silent world, the planet coming to a rest, reminding us that there is something greater out there. I love this slow pace that you describe, i love your walks in nature, your daily dancing with Terry. You are our West End angel bringing hope and beauty to many of us. I am going back to my retreat with a coffee and cloud watching. The sky is my theater. Thank you again. You are loved.♥️😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are so blessed to live in an apartment building (our aeries!) so close to the ocean and forest…the sky is indeed our theater, just this morning we were treated to the aerial acrobatic flying of some sweet swallows underneath a blue sky!
      Thank you so much for your very lovely words, dear Huguette. And you’re right, I wish our society could’ve embraced stillness and sought out these inward journeys without the loss of so many…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    Beautiful photographs of Spring Kim and it’s a true blessing you can enjoy a walk in nature and sit down with a thermos of wholesome rooibos chai. Wildlife is enjoying the new quiet and it’s sad it had to come at such a high price. I do hope we will come out of this as a kinder society, living more in harmony with each other and the natural world. Take care and stay safe and well 🧡🍃 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another beautiful post from you, Kim. I’m so glad you can still get outside. I love your nightly Irish Whiskey sipping and clapping and the positive messages left by strangers around the city. This virus had brought out the best in some people. Gives me hope. Stay well and positive. Have a lovely week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miriam says:

    Such a beautiful post Kim, how blessed you are to live in such lovely surroundings and to feel that connection with nature. I love your writing and the sense of peace that I feel, even in these uncertain times. Stay well my friend. xx


  8. michnavs says:

    This pandemic indeed gave us the chance to take a break from our usual busy life. I love how you are taking this with a positive note Kim, because some are already on the edge of breaking down. I hope and pray we heal as one..

    Keep safe kim and my love goes to Shirly as well..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you again, Mich! Keeping positive is one small thing I/we can do in spite of the pandemic as well as keep healthy…my heart goes out to those who are hurting, there is one older man in our neighbourhood who keeps muttering, “I don’t understand”, this is something most of us have never seen or experienced in our lifetime!
      Keep safe and keep on writing, Mich! X

      Liked by 1 person

  9. floweringink says:

    This is absolutely beautiful, absolute poetry. You are fast becoming one of my favorite writers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It sounds as though you’ve found positive and productive ways of filling the days, while not forgetting to spend some time being in the moment and appreciating what’s all around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Quirky Girl says:

    Those tulip trees are so beautiful! I have a redbud tree in my backyard that blooms bright purple for two or three weeks in early spring before giving way to green leaves. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You just provided me with the name of a group of gorgeous trees I walk by, thank you so much! Our blossoms and blooms seem more vibrant this year…I just came in from a lovely, fragrant walk through the park, sigh!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ali Grimshaw says:

    This is such a tender and thoughtful reflection of our current time. There are challenges that are bringing out the worst and best in people. Your walk made me think again of all the people in New York City, in small apartments, unable to get our and soak up the Spring trees. I can’t imagine how hard that would be.
    Thank you for including your photos too.
    Stay well and keep sharing your view of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Silent Hour says:

    Staying in is definitely the new black… Genius line!

    I am lucky to have the forest nearby. We didn’t miss the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

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