“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson
A burnt orange crescent moon rose in the night sky late this week, ushering in a glowing red sun smothered in smoke. Breezes that were absent during the heat dome in early summer have made the last few days of a third heatwave bearable but stalled yesterday resulting in a 10+ dangerous air quality reading and a strong smell of wood smoke. Thankfully we had thawed a simple supper allowing us to heat up some delicious vegetarian chili rather than fry or bake something. We anticipated another sleepless night but managed to create some movement in the apartment with our tower fan and air purifier. Autumn arrives in a few weeks and we hope to have a second summer rather than a prolonged fire season (some fires in the Interior might burn until the first snowfall).
Today the smoke and heat have fled and a cool breeze kept me company as I walked up my street to a heritage home to check out a Postcard Era exhibit called Wish You Were Here – highlighting the art of the postcard, connection and communication. There was a touching poster board note about the pandemic and how important it is now, connecting – posting a photo or commenting on a blog site, today’s version of mailing a postcard to a loved one or friend.
The collection of sepia-toned and pastel hued postcards came from all over after a call-out to the many small museums up and down the coast, giving them a chance to be seen in the big city. I was amazed at the similarity to my own postcard collection with their cursive sentiments echoing my own. I had the whole house to myself to wander through on a beautiful sunny afternoon and I’m so glad I went!
As I write these words, a fragrant cup of rooibos tea steams gently in a delicate English tea cup decorated in bold black stripes and an array of stylistic animals and birds (some holding fans, beloved books or playing amid autumn leaves in sepia toned colours of their own). I’m at a delightful coffee place and gift shop called Goodge that I try to visit every summer. Sitting outside at their bistro tables near a lushly scented florist shop is divine…
A second summer has emerged with sundrenched days and some welcome rainy ones – on one of these perfect summer days we left the city to spend some time at the Shipyards (formerly the Wallace Shipyards), just a short Seabus ride across beautiful Burrard Inlet to the North Shore. The Shipyards sit adjacent to a very vibrant Lonsdale Quay where we sat dockside recently enjoying some delicious teriyaki take-out. Today’s lunch (tasty burgers and glasses of cold beer) was at the Original Tap and Barrel restaurant where we sat underneath a bright yellow patio umbrella at a scrubbed wooden table facing the stunning Vancouver skyline. Ravens as black as night flew overhead to sit on a large crane left behind as industrial sculpture while the ocean breeze kept us cool.
As we revel in this second summer, autumn is quietly painting the tops of the chestnut tree one street over and I kick through fallen acorns on my way to write at Veranda Cafe, thankful for the warm sunshine and the freedom to sit outside, to savour a cup of tea and take it all in.