Golden Hour

But in the midst of all that is, was or ever will be, there is a light that keeps shining, reaching us from far away.” – Sasha Sagan

After an unexpected and very deadly heatwave that enveloped the West Coast in late June and early July, it feels wonderfully cool to sit at a table in what was the former glory of our local public market amid generous air conditioning and write a few lines. During a season not touched or shaped by climate change, the cooling breezes coming off the deep blue Pacific Ocean provide respite from any errant rise in temperature. The heat dome that arose smothered all the breezes and because of low tide, killed one billion sea creatures and left those of us without air conditioning struggling to keep cool and hydrated.

Over the five worst days, sleep eluded us while our days were spent chasing the sun as we opened and closed blinds not meant to keep out the oppressive heat while leaving our apartment door open Mexican-style to usher in fresher air from the hallway. One or two suppers consisted of take-out carried down to a shady bench (prime real estate!) in the park hoping for a wayward breeze off the lagoon or a sense of coolness from hidden places amid foliage not touched by the sun.

As we revel now in a summer just a touch warmer than normal, fire season has started early (there are over 300 fires burning in our province at the time of this writing) with another heatwave warning announced for the Interior. One town (Lytton) up country has already been destroyed by a raging fire that may have been human caused, two people died and many others have been left to grapple with losing their homes and businesses as well as their jobs. Adding these worrisome notes to the layers left behind by the ongoing pandemic, I’m left wondering, are there any golden hours left to savour?

One golden hour led me downtown to my favourite gallery space again to lose myself in two photography exhibits, one showcasing vintage storefront signage of corner stores (often run by families) disappearing fast from our local communities to make way for new development and the other, a series of colourful photographs capturing unguarded moments of inhabitants and visitors in a Chinatown struggling to survive. I was on my way to visit the main library after not perusing the inviting stacks in almost two years, to my delight, the photography exhibit was an unexpected detour before finding my way there…

Another hour resulted in a much anticipated visit to the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Nothing prepared me for the subtly moving panels graced with Vincent’s iconic works and the unexpected thrill in seeing a few lush flower and creamy blossom paintings slipped in among simple black and white line drawings and his intriguing portrait series. Camera phones constantly captured the beautiful fluid images which even appeared on the floor. The pre-booked hour flew by and I reluctantly left the exquisite soundtrack and art behind, an after image of autumn yellow, glowing reds and the midnight blue of a starry night carried with me to linger over as summer wanes.

Today I find myself stitching those golden hours together underneath a bright blue outdoor umbrella at the Sunset Beach Pop-Up Patio, sitting at one of the nostalgic pale blue picnic tables facing the creek before it becomes ocean. There are about thirteen brightly coloured kites on the other side fluttering underneath a pale blue sky heralding other people’s golden hours, an echo of summers past awakening again. I’ve just finished a lovely amble through Granville Island noting the loss of favourite shops and anticipating the new. It was a joy to revisit the sweet coffee bar tucked underneath the Granville St. bridge and enjoy a delicious gelato while watching the world go by via boat and ferry. Hopping on the False Creek ferry boat myself was something I had hoped to do this summer, a small city getaway to somewhere local to support a small business.

There are always golden hours to be had if one is willing, hours to be carved out or embraced in between our day to day – hours to be savoured despite the vagaries of a worldwide pandemic and climate change.

This tongue in cheek sign greeted me as I eagerly got in line at the Vancouver Convention Centre!
What a gorgeous immersive hour I spent! It was lovely to see everyone’s delight amid the blue…
These images took my breath away with their ethereal colour!
So many phone cameras pivoted towards this single image, Starry Night.
I took so many wonderful photographs it was hard to decide which ones to post but I seemed to be drawn to his saturated blues…

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, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Golden Hour

  1. murisopsis says:

    We were supposed to be heading to GeoWoodstock in BC but it was cancelled – again. We are hoping that 2022 is the year. Currently we are hoping to be able to visit Sault St. Marie next week – if the Canadian border is open AND if we will be allowed to come back into the USA. It is all so very fluid right now. We are chasing that golden hour too. It seems a cool day when the temperature is below 90F… Hope you can stay cool and sleep easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rain arrived early this morning, something we’ve been waiting for after several weeks without, it’s much cooler and the trees will appreciate a good soaking!
      I hope you make it to Ontario, the border is supposed to be open on August 9th for travelers from the US…
      Thank you for stopping by!


  2. Ali Grimshaw says:

    I love Van Gogh. If you ever make it to Amsterdam don’t miss your chance to visit the museum there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos on adapting to the changes. I believe flexibility and resiliency will be critical skills as climate change impacts more and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    The heat wave must have been so challenging for your area, which has historically never had to deal with such extremes. No AC in most houses must have been hard. 30 years ago, we only had a few warm days, but fans in the windows were enough. Now we have 2 AC units and have had to use them many days. The climate is getting worse and more challenging with each passing year.
    On a brighter note, the Van Gogh exhibit looks delightful and how nice that you got to enjoy it between Covid spikes. The latest variant is threatening to close things down again here and I don’t think folks are going to take to that easily. To my mind, there clearly is no choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We live in a rainforest environment that scientists/environmentalists predict will change into terrain reminiscent of Southern California!
      Rain arrived in the wee hours of the morning and we’re so happy to see it falling after yet another heatwave, we haven’t invested in A/C units yet but are very thankful for our tower fan and air purifier.
      The Interior is still being ravaged by fire and an uptick in new COVID-19 infections making me wonder when new restrictions will come our way (I hope to attend a local exhibit at a heritage home on my street very soon just in case!).
      It’s lovely to read your words here, Eliza!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Huguette desneiges says:

    Gogh Kim gogh, I love your golden hour. Nice to revisit Van Gogh .Like you, I enjoyed that event so much. I love your photos.
    Looking forward to a Veranda tête à tête with you on a cooler day.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I can still hear the music and long to see those images again…
      Veranda has been a lovely respite this summer, sitting at Michael’s outdoor tables to read from a book of essays or write a line or two has been sublime!
      Enjoy the rain, dear neighbour! The gull chicks on a neighbouring rooftop are enjoying the puddles…


  6. The Van Gogh exhibit looks stunning, Kim. How beautiful and immersive. What a wonderful way to experience art. Perhaps Monet next? And the heat was very tough, the loss of marine life tragic and a terrible forewarning of what will come if we don’t address our damage to the planet. Despite the western fires, I think we’re fortunate to live on the Pacific where we can catch a breeze. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, those life-affirming breezes, they are a wonder after that heat dome…our city/province lost over 500 dear souls during the week or so it smothered our part of the world. One of our older neighbours waited 16 hours for an ambulance to arrive after a fall that severely bruised his left hip, he was advised to not move until a fracture/break was ruled out…as his neighbours, several of us took shifts to keep him cool and hydrated (my last shift ended at 11 pm with an ambulance finally arriving at 4 am). Huguette and I have cat sat for him pre-pandemic and we’re thrilled that he recovered well and is back to his normal self…the heat dome exposed our city’s weaknesses and going forward, we must do better!
      Right now, it’s raining and we feel very blessed…
      Thank you for dropping by, Diana! Your lovely words never fail to warm my heart. X

      Liked by 1 person

  7. markmkane says:

    As always Kimberlee, your words are truly magical to read. The pictures are spectacular. We had the Van Gogh experience here and my friends got to go but I unfortunately was unable to attend it with them. They loved it. As far as the fire season you are in right now, we are in a similar situation here and we do have a drought. Loved reading about your golden hour, for me, it’s when the sun is just about to fully set. Because we have vog (volcanic smog), our skies during sunsets make it really golden with a tinge of red. It’s very calming and serene to look at. Wonderful post as always!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This summer has been a heartbreaking one; it seems the whole world is on fire. I rode out the heat dome in my underwear, inside my apartment. It was something I have never experienced here on the island, but sadly, I believe we will go through it more often now. I love that you found ways to enjoy and discovered golden hours. I’m sure it’s already been said, but if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, you simply must go to the Van Gogh museum. It’s an extraordinary experience you won’t ever forget. Take good care and stay cool!

    PS… I had a Lee’s donut on Granville Island a couple of months ago and it was incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Miriam says:

    Hi Kim, once again you’ve taken me into your world so eloquently. I had no idea of the extent of those bushfires and the heatwave that’s ravaging your parts. Do stay safe and cool. On a brighter note, that exhibit looks stunning. Keep looking out for those golden hours my friend, your writing is inspiring. Sending love your way. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. calmkate says:

    wow what a wondrous way to exhibit art, it’s transforming! Sorry you’ve had such incredible heat, here we are more conditioned to it and I do have reversible aircon although I’ve never used it 🙂

    Love that reflection of clouds and surrounding mountains with your “Gogh” sign 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. michnavs says:

    Yes, Kim there would always be golden hours and i love how you sound so positive despite of the seeminglif difficult situation there right now not to mention the pandemic.

    Keep safe and always love reading your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wonder how many more times I will hear ‘the hottest/wettest season since records began’ or about more extremes of weather, before we do something to change it….I’m glad you’ve had some rain and hope that the wildfires are few. You’ve done a great job of weaving in those beautiful golden hours that happen all the same! I love Van Gogh – I was never a fan of the sunflowers but had never realised how much more to him there was than that.

    Liked by 1 person

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