“May and October, the best smelling months? December: evergreen, frost, wood smoke , cinnamon.” – Lisa Kleypas
A creamy hot chocolate and Harry Potter were my companions today after practicing yoga at home amid the tail end of yet another historical weather system. The sun made an appearance earlier in the afternoon but soon became swallowed up by stormy clouds and falling rain.
The West Coast has been hosting a rare weather bomb (Bomb Cyclone) for two days now resulting in falling temperatures, pounding rain and destructive winds. Trees bursting in brilliant colour dance as gracefully as they can holding fast to their fluttering leaves while others stand sentinel over heaps of soggy leaves ready for winter. On my way to the shelter of the coffee bar I walked on sidewalks blanketed in a tapestry of fallen leaves, the mingling of colour reminding me of another place and time – the weaving of burgundy, dark green and mottled pale yellow resembling medieval wall hangings.
Back at home we were treated to a darkening sky reflected in neighbouring apartment tower windows – with fast moving clouds in shades of smoky peach travelling in between shards of bright sunlight revealing heavenly blue. Lately, the unsettling weather has paused briefly before a welcome flash of sunset resulting in glorious double rainbows, sweet tidings to those of us struggling during an autumn bereft of sun. Rainbows are a sign of hope and the ones that manifested this fall lifted our spirits…
Late November erupted in a once in a century weather event that created widespread flooding, dangerous land slides and loss of life. A town (Merritt) that I lived in briefly in my early twenties was left underwater and its 7,000 residents evacuated. In the aftermath here in our neighbourhood, we were left with lots of debris with parts of the stone seawall and sand strewn across paths by high tides. A huge barge was flung upon the rocky shoreline near Sunset Beach (where it still remains with a sign recently erected, Barge Chilling Beach, as a holiday gift to our city) and a curious wander down to the sea brought part of those stormy days we witnessed to life.
Lately I’ve tucked into Veranda Cafe’s cozy environs to enjoy another small hot chocolate or two and recently after a beautiful dry autumn walk up to the bookstore left behind the previous week’s heartbreaking images and the bare shelves we’ve noticed in our local shops as folks grapple with the reality of possible supply chain issues due to the damage sustained by several highways, effectively cutting off the city of Vancouver from the rest of the province and country. Thankfully, a state of emergency has been implemented (and at the time of this writing remains in place), army service personnel have arrived and the cleanup has begun.
The holiday season is now upon us too and once again, we’ll have to be creative with gift giving and gathering. Sweet tidings still abound in rare sunshine moments warming my back and in long walks through the park greeting fluttering golden leaves still clinging to trees that survived the onslaught of rain and wind. Wood smoke wafts through the air as colourful lights beckon from once darkened windows and as I wrote to a dear neighbour this morning – as long as we have music, art, and beloved books upon our tables, we are happy and well.