If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” – William Blake

A good friend and I often email each other but make a habit to call periodically to hear a different voice other than the one inside our heads. It’s heartwarming to share concerns or insights as weeks of staying inside and social distancing slowly become months.

This change-maker pandemic has stolen so many identities from all of us it makes my head spin. Words to describe myself – potential volunteer, traveller, bookstore wanderer and coffee bar patron no longer apply. There are new words that settle over me like a scratchy wool sweater – solo walker, isolation diarist and 7 pm cheerleader honouring all those that stock our grocery shelves and care for the sick. An ordinary human being trying to make sense of this novel passage, thankful for caring neighbours and loving family as the earth and its population stills.

Identities that have been shed are being reborn, becoming innovators, ambassadors and life savers – truck drivers, those grocery clerks/shelf stockers we cheer for and caregivers in our long term care facilities are now first in our thoughts and so needed.

We’ve just heard from our health care officials that staying inside and practising safe social distancing is helping to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this deadly virus with mid-May an historic time to aim for re: lifting of some restrictions (safely, of course) as the world begins to take baby steps towards what is being touted as the new normal with the caveat that we might not return to the lives that we lived in December for quite some time.

On some of my neighbourhood walks, I often come across images left behind as the lockdown descended: in one business, its windows bare, I can see a book hurriedly left on the counter with the word “heaven” in its title, an eerie film still from an apocalyptic movie. I’ve noticed neighbours bringing out their lawn chairs to sit in the sun in alleyways or the park, I’m not the only one to bring out a thermos of tea or coffee, a welcome break from our couches. When I look up on these daily walks, I see people perched on their balconies reading with a steaming cup of liquid nearby, they’ve inspired me to create a reading/tea nook on my own balcony, something I will work on this coming warm weekend.

I find I falter when I think too far ahead…it’s important to be prepared and have goals to jump-start when things settleΒ  but the most pressing task for us all is to live in the moment, day to day, it’s all we can ask of ourselves. My goal is to close my eyes at the end of the day knowing I’ve reached out to everyone I need or want to, that I’ve tackled a small project or two and have thought of a new one.

There are days when I find it hard to keep motivated re: those daily solo walks but I keep pushing through the inertia and Covid-19 fatigue, this is a defining time for us all even if we didn’t cause or ask for this…there is grief woven through my days, too, as I think of all the unique human beings the world has lost. I try to honour my time here by appreciating each day even though it’s hard to keep calm and unafraid sometimes. The evaporating fragrance of my own cup of black tea challenges me to adapt, to breathe and let go.

I recall an exquisite shift last year in England on a walk down from an ancient castle through a tangled bit of woodland with Wood doves perched on winter limbs – my heart fluttered as I breathed in the sweet convergence of blessed peace, beauty and soaring harmony sensing with an inner knowledge that this could all slip away, sensing that a storm was coming and here it is.

Sometimes stone steps lead to blooming portals…I often pause here on my solo walks through Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).

I pass this romantic offering on the Camellia Walkway just before those magical stone steps.

This enchanting capture just off the Camellia Walkway never fails to fill me with joy!






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.
This entry was posted in blog, journaling, life, memoir, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Portal

  1. ellie894 says:

    A lovely share. The images you create come alive in my thoughts. I feel a beautiful hope and ease upon reading. Perhaps I too will create that treasured reading spot. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. murisopsis says:

    Everything is blooming in your park! We are just now getting the redbud trees and apple trees to bloom. We do have daffodils and tulips but the roses are still a little ways off. It feels like the flowers are waiting on the people. And the people are not able to “bloom” yet..

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’re so very blessed to have all that beauty on our doorstep! I’m glad you stopped by to enjoy the read and the beautiful captures by my partner, Terry, he has a very artistic eye!


  3. Miriam says:

    Beautifully written Kim and I think you’ve echoed many of a universal thought in this post, the appreciation of all those who keep our services and communities running, the gratitude for each new day and the resilience of the human spirit to make the best of this situation. As a fellow solo walker I know how much those walks nourish the soul, yet I also feel a huge longing for human contact and some sort of new normality to emerge soon. Thank you for a beautiful post Kim. And enjoy creating your tea and reading nook! Hugs and love sent to you xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ilah says:

    This was both beautiful and insightful, thank you for sharing 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. calmkate says:

    a poignant reflection and such lovely shots!

    I will miss my daily beach walks, they have been such a joy plus those amazing sunrises … but I’m journeying back to my own off-grid tiny home. Time to look at reality as our conditions will ease over the next few weeks. And we all face a new normal …

    take care xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The camelias look so beautiful Kim and there are gentle messages of hope and encouragement in our unfolding Spring. It is an opportunity to reach out and help others and also, when we need to, roll down our sleeves and appreciate the time we are given to care for ourselves. Wishing you a blessed weekend across the miles and stay safe and well too πŸ’– xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. These are such strange times, Kim, and while my life actually hasn’t changed much, I’m acutely aware of the suffering happening everywhere, the loss as well as the immense love and courage. It’s hard not to feel disoriented in a time of such uncertainty. But you’re right that we have to find our center and sense of the present, to find ways to be kind and connected while isolating, and to prepare for who we will be in a changed world. A lovely post with gorgeous photos from your solo-walks. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love this line, prepare for who we will be in a changed world, Diana! My world doesn’t quite look the same, some of our restrictions have been lifted today and it’s super busy out there…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some restrictions were lifted here too and everyone is going wild and being terribly unsafe. I fear a second wave but I guess that’s how we learn in the US. *Sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve said this well! Our local tennis courts open today with strict guidelines and quite a few overly enthusiastic patrons started playing yesterday…our friends and neighbours are like wild horses, I hope they’ll settle down soon as we move slowly through Phase 1 of lifting some restrictions, otherwise, the next lockdown will be even more restrictive!


  8. ugetse says:

    Your notes, your testimonials touches hearts. YES we are in challenging moments. I am afraid that it will be an arduous climb. If we all do our part, there is hope ahead. Your beautiful photos inspired me to go and take some fresh air in our park. After a while feeling the sun warmth, smelling the flowers, listening to bird songs, I could sense great energy and faith building in me.. I felt deeply connected and peaceful. I understand that life is meant to be a journey full of challenges ,but your notes always brings me hope. Thanks for your enthousiasme and care. You are our WE angel. You are in our hearts. β™₯οΈπŸ˜˜πŸ’

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’re so blessed to live near such beauty sometimes found just down our street…this beautiful season seems more precious especially if we can find moments of peace and tranquility in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. As I write you this note, Huguette, one of our sweet urban crows has stopped by for a visit…
      Thank you for your lovely words, dear neighbour…I you hope you get out again to fill your cup!


  9. michnavs says:

    I can totally relate to your sentiments here Kim..the distancing and being alone can actually be very overwhelming to bear. I normal have not felt much of it in the onset fo the lockdown but as extension of lovkdowns were further pushed forward, i am beginning to feel the panic ..
    Especially as a mom who ‘s been away from my daugthers for months now..

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jade M. Wong says:

    I liked reading this glimpse into what it’s like for you right now, because it shows just how much we are all in the same boat and how we are truly not alone, even if it may feel that way in our social distancing. That scene you mentioned of the book laying on the counter gave me a little shiver, it did feel indeed like a still from a apocalyptic movie. I hope you are able to continue enjoying your walks πŸ’œ

    P.S. Those photos of the camellia walkways are stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: The Awesome Blogger Award! – Shreya

  12. Shreya says:

    Hey there Kim ! I absolutely love this post. I have nominated you for The Awesome Blogger Award ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Coming by your blog, dear Kim, is like a breath of fresh air. Clears the cobwebs in my mind for sure. Hang in there lovely. This is gonna pass, you know. And then maybe, just maybe, we will miss these days that we find strange and testing now. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Luanne says:

    Yes, it’s stolen our identities. I can’t imagine the changes that will have occurred by the time the dust settles. For instance, I saw a notice (online) from a dog grooming school in my old hometown today. They are closing permanently because they don’t see a way to teach people to groom with social distancing protocols (and needs) going forward. Won’t the same be true for dance schools, etc.?

    Liked by 2 people

    • This pandemic has changed so many things and systems…I recently walked downtown to catch some of the beautiful murals that have sprung up on the boarded up windows of the many retail stores and was surprised to see quite a few “for lease” signs…it’s sad to see these businesses fold!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne says:

        It’s going to be a long slow death for some other businesses, too. I know everyone likes to feel hopeful and that we really value optimism in our western cultures, but we also have to be realistic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our city has just begun Phase 2 of lifting some of the restrictions, I saw two neighbours lined up this morning waiting for much needed haircuts!


  15. markmkane says:

    Hey Kimberlee, reading your post echoes what most of us are feeling. Especially for me when I get back to my normal routine, I hope I can be re-energized to do so. But I agree with all this chaos, it makes me really live day to day and appreciate everything all that much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you stopped by, Mark and I do hope you’ll be re-energized when our world returns to something familiar with all the new ways we’re learning to help each other and the environment!


  16. Robyn Haynes says:

    Dear Kim, this post was like a warm cup of cocoa for me, reflecting as it did so many of my thoughts and experiences. I especially loved ‘my heart fluttered as I breathed in the sweet convergence of blessed peace, beauty and soaring harmony sensing with an inner knowledge that this could all slip away, sensing that a storm was coming and here it is.’ Beautifully expressed. Thank you. I was with you every step.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Love picture number 3 – enchanting! You’ve expressed beautifully the ups and downs, thoughts and insights of being in lockdown. We’re all living it in such different ways though connected by the fact that we’re all in it together. Let’s hope some of those good things outlast the virus.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’ve just entered Phase 2 re: the lifting of some restrictions and on my walk today, I saw two tables outside of a local cafΓ© (they were spaced at least 6 feet apart!). It was lovely to see a couple sitting there enjoying the sun…
      Nature is so enchanting at the moment, I can’t get enough of the beautiful birdsong, lush green and gorgeous blooms!
      Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you love picture number 3…

      Liked by 1 person

  18. A beautiful post Kimberlee. The world is a very different place. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered loss of their loved ones, without a chance to say goodbye or a hug. The Internet has been such a terrific lifeline for many living alone, as well as phone calls…
    I love the photographs of your beautiful walk. Nature is such a wonderful healer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nature is our solace…as we learn to navigate through the lifting of some restrictions we can still find those peaceful spaces that nurtured us from the beginning…there is an air of excitement in my neighbourhood as our local farmer’s market, coffee bars and restaurants start to welcome patrons back!
      Thank you so much, Brigid, for leaving such a lovely comment…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply, I'd Love to Hear From You

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.