Outside We Live

What humanity needs, nature answers in whispers.” – Numi Tea

CITY

There’s a Summer Art Program being presented downtown twice a week – two beautiful parklets are now home to artists and students displaying works in progress to potential customers and happy wanderers hoping to capture a festival feeling in quieter times.

My time there taking in the colour, live music and stunning art prompted me to walk home via a different route, extending that summer in the city vibe as I walked the seawall hugging the waterfront. It’s a winding walk that ends in bustling Coal Harbour where the image of two young boys trying to fish in an urban lily pond still makes me smile and the gravel path on the edge of a dog park across from the Vancouver Rowing Club still offers respite from crowded walkways.

I came home with a feeling of calm and realized that summer joys I thought were lost forever can still be found.

Lot 19, site of the 2020 Summer Art Program located in downtown Vancouver, B.C.

The second site of the 2020 Summer Art Program at Cathedral Square in downtown Vancouver, B.C. The program runs weather permitting and the morning rain chased the artists away…

BEACH

It was time to walk down the sylvan path to Second Beach to buy some more summer fruit from the local Farmer’s Market stand. Twice a month with memories of camping dancing through my mind, I pick out three cartons of luscious berries and pack them carefully in my canvas tote bag. Earlier, we were wondering why one of our regular crow visitors who has been bringing her young one to our balcony hadn’t been by and here was the answer! It looked like “bring your crow offspring” to the beach day – the air was filled with squawks as young crows wandered over the damp sand, hung out on cedar branches and near the newly opened concession, some even perched on the outdoor pool railing.

Throughout the summer I’ve found myself on the seawall more than ever, arriving after a walk through the forest trails or on urban streets. I’m glad I recently came across the words, sacred space, written in pastel chalk near the stone Inukshuk statue before the Good-bye Graffiti truck hosed it away. These enlightened words reminded me to pause on a cloudy day by the beach, to find an empty bench and take some cleansing breaths on the cusp of an uptick in new COVID-19 cases.

No matter what forest trail one walks upon, they invariably lead to the ocean. This capture shows some recent fire damage to a tree near Tatlow Trail in Stanley Park that has previously made an appearance on my blog site.

A rare sun halo captured by Terry on a solo walk near Lost Lagoon (a beloved pathway to Second Beach) in Stanley Park.

FOREST

The best time to walk in my world is just after a rainfall. Asphalt paths and needle covered trails smell earthy, their damp surfaces littered with autumn-early dip-dyed leaves and brilliant blue hydrangea blooms.

On this August day we’re sitting on the wooden bleachers at Brockton Oval in coyote country after a tasty take-out lunch (a mouth watering West Coast salmon burger from Lumbermen’s Arch concession) and a stroll through sun-dappled forest. There’s a soft breeze carrying dragonflies and other insects through the warm air, the wooden planks sound alive underneath the sun, the creaking and groaning covered over with the remains of several swallow nests, nearby Canada Geese are nibbling on the same grass where lone rugby players practice their kicking skills. It’s a peaceful afternoon far away from the rules of social distancing where one can breathe deeply and inhale the stillness.

This is our summer ritual every two weeks, a chance to capture the essence and fragrance of past summers. Later in the day we retreat to a spacious deck at the Stanley Park Pavilion to share a small plate and take in the treehouse effect while gazing upon the gorgeous gardens. There are still a few weeks of summer left as we shore up these gastronomic memories and delicious pints, memories to think upon when autumn touches our world again.

We are all living on the edge of previous lives trying to expand our worlds in new ways, finding ourselves outside can be one of those ways…

A curious young coyote on a wander by Brockton Oval, Terry had to shoo him back on to the forest trail he came out on but not before he got this incredible shot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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47 Responses to Outside We Live

  1. michnavs says:

    “I came home with a feeling of calm and realized that summer joys I thought were lost forever can still be found.”

    This is so beautiful Kim. My heart warms. My heart jumps with joy. My heart smiles. I too thought that we have lost the joya of summer where we can go out freely, run freely and enjoy the sun freely.
    This is such sweet reminder and thank you for taking us with your walk again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of parklets having small art shows. How fun, and what a wonderful addition to your summer walks. These wanderings of yours are as wonderful for me as they are for you, Kim. You descriptions take me along and I breathe easier. I hope you get a few more summer walks before autumn brings a whole new kind of beauty. Enjoy. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lot 19 has also become the parklet where one can now enjoy a glass of wine or beer brought from home, it’s a pilot project which sounds quite civilized (there are at least 2-3 other parklets in the city offering the same!).
      Before autumn brings a whole new kind of beauty, this lovely line has me dreaming of my favourite season…I can hardly wait for my solo walks through heaps of colourful, crackling leaves while sipping a creamy hot chocolate.
      I’m forever grateful to have you along on these walks, Diana! Thank you (always!) for your lovely words…
      BTW, I purchased the soft cover of the book, An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson after your intriguing review. Our local library is now open for take-out and pick up only…I ordered a book that you might find just as beautiful as An Enchantment of Ravens, it’s called Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw…I haven’t started the book officially yet but her gorgeous prose in the prologue has me under her spell already.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ugetse says:

    Oh Kim, i just love your notes. It gives me the urge to go immediately and bathed in your footsteps. You always remind us , to look up, to look down, to look across, to look closely, to notice every little things that can make our heart dance.
    Being outdoors can help us cope with anxiety , particularly in these uncertain times. Love your quote, the animals stories and Terry’s great photos. Thank you for another intimate walk in our park.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love the image of us all going outside, visiting local patios, shopping at farmer’s market stands, seeking out exhibits and small celebrations – anything and all that can safely make our hearts dance!
      Terry’s photography is beautiful and gives him a creative outlet, I took the camera out for the city pictures and hoped my captures would be blog-worthy, too!
      Thank you for stopping by and reading “your” very long note, Huguette! X

      Liked by 1 person

  4. murisopsis says:

    Your descriptions have floated me along with you from the parklet to the forest and along the water. We must take pleasure where we can find it. Thank-you for these sacred space vignettes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. calmkate says:

    your vivid imagery took me with you, so glad you got outdoors and made the most of summer Kim! This is so tranquil, you are a talented writer.

    I do wonder if wildlife are confused by the fact that they have had more freedom while we’ve been in lockdown enticing them to explore suburbia/parks a bit more 🙂

    There is plenty of sacred space around, best outdoors or by water but can also be found in a special corner we make for ourselves at home ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • A special corner we make for ourselves at home – this lovely line conjures up an atmospheric read and a cup of fragrant tea. With autumn gently making itself known, our special corner will become a refuge and a delight (in the retail world, it was noted that patrons/customers spent their disposable income this past spring on books, home decorating/furnishings and indoor work-out gear!).
      Your beautiful comment will stay with me, thank you so much, my friend! X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Miriam says:

    I so agree with you Kim that being outside expands our world. Thank you for taking us through your paths, sharing your art shows and trails, just as the crows enjoy these parts too. Enjoy the last vestiges of summer and all the beauty that surrounds us still. Your words evoke peace, calm and joy and is just what we all need now. Freedom is indeed ours and always will be. Loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for letting us walk along with you here Kim, it’s lovely to see the wildlife enjoying the relative peace and quiet too 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. AmyRose🌹 says:

    What a lovely heart touching walk, Kim, one that had me transfixed. How glorious to know people are beginning to get back into the groove of living. This summer I’ve been outside so much my husband commented recently he’s never seen me so tanned. You are so right about we being on the cusp (a very uncomfortable place to be) to figure out how to move ahead by living differently. I know how devastated I was by this whole historical event and how when I devised ways in order to recreate my life it was only then the exhaustion fell away and I once again felt empowered. Sounds to me you are doing the same and I applaud you! Life is too precious to act as though you are dead already while living.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Being outside definitely expands our world, so important when our worlds have shrunk this year, I think you’re right to wring out every last moment of the summer as we don’t know what the autumn will bring…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m noticing more touches of autumn lately which makes me feel that time and summer are slipping away (I’ve got to make a list of summer pleasures not to be missed!) and yes, autumn is an unknown during this cycle of the pandemic. I hope things go smoothly for all…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Harlon says:

    What an absolutely lovely post. The sensuous joy of being near to nature and your brilliant quote: “What humanity needs, nature answers in whispers.” – Numi Tea
    was the icing on the cake, or better yet, the beautiful shimmer of the sun on the water.
    I enjoy your forays and wish you the best. Hugs, Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

    • How wonderful to read your lovely words, Harlon!
      The beautiful shimmer of the sun on the water sounds divine, I’m so glad to have you join me on my forays, this means I’m never alone! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • Harlon says:

        Your comment gave me a wonderful feeling of joy and serenity. I am so delighted that we can share each other’s forays and that we can support each other so we don’t ever feel alone. On another note, I feel restless and travel was always part of my plan but COVID but a damper on that – so I am thinking to myself, why don’t I explore Canada. I did live in Vancouver – way back when I was young and foolish but I would love to get out West. The walk around Stanley Park is something so special. I am intrigued by Hadai Gwai – I don’t know how complicated that might be but I am exploring the option – so all in all, wouldn’t it be nice that sometime in the very near future we could meet for a tea and some reflection – the thought of that makes me smile. 🙂 Harlon

        Liked by 1 person

      • A tea and some reflection…that sounds so peaceful…Haida Gwai might be tricky as they recently experienced a few COVID-19 cases and were asking Canadian/BC tourists to stay away…Kelowna is booming, they’ve received more visitors than last year!
        We’re hoping to make our way to Vancouver Island if our numbers fall from the 3 digits our province is experiencing at the moment.
        Take care, Harlon!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. markmkane says:

    Thanks for sharing this Kimberlee! I really needed to read this because currently our state is under another lockdown and we’re sequestered in our homes for the next two weeks because of a drastic rise in COVID cases. As always, truly enjoying nature vicariously through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to read of Hawaii’s recent lockdown, Mark! Our new cases are presenting in 3 digits and I’m worried we might be headed towards a mini-lockdown, too, especially with school starting in early September…our solo walks in nature are tiny respites against the worry…I’m so glad that you’re able to experience our West Coast natural world through my words, it warms my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jade M. Wong says:

    I love these snippets of your days that you provide. It makes me feel like I’m walking along your city with you! The Summer Art Program sounds like such a wonderful way to celebrate art and connect young budding artists with a community. The beach also sounds like a beautiful place to calm yourself in the chaos that is Covid. Your forest walk is the only way I think I might pass on because my phobia of all things creepy-crawly would send me running right back out as soon as I spot one dragonfly or insect lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Luanne says:

    The coyote is so cute. I do worry about him getting that close though both for his own sake and for small pets. Isn’t it amazing how there are coyotes all over North America?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Travis says:

    Kim can you or terry contact me. It is regards the fires in the park.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Shruba says:

    Wow that sun halo and the shot of the coyote is superb! I love foxes and coyotes just seem very similar to them. Your descriptions make me miss my walks. I love walking and I used to generally go towards the south of my city to walk around the old neighbourhoods, left mostly unchanged and it’s like going back to the past. New buildings have cropped up,there are new cafes and Mcdonalds yet, somewhere behind that rests the quaint old South Bombay vibes, the gothic architecture and the remains of a colonial past. Now they are fossils but it’s still a beautiful change of scenary to walk around those areas. Gaah, I miss my detours so much. 🥺🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quaint old South Bombay vibes, these words sound so exotic, I wish I could walk through those old neighbourhoods, too!
      The coyote made itself known again yesterday afternoon at a favourite sun trap of Terry’s…we’ve had a lovely atmospheric start to autumn with warmer than normal temperatures.
      Thank you for stopping by and enjoying a read or two, it made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

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