“ The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet.” – Rebecca Harding Davis
There are delicate dragonflies dancing among the summery air currents on my afternoon walk to taste the sun. After a sheltered stroll through the dark green forest, I’ve come across a three piece band (@JamesStuartFerguson) playing some pretty cool music at the edge of the sea, the sparkling water keeping time with the sublime beats. Two faraway jets are painting white contrails across the pale blue sky, the pilots unknown artists to our earthly eyes. It’s a busy corner down here by Second Beach but I’ve found a seat on a low stone wall and with the music flowing all around creating a sense of peace, the chattering voices of the crowd slowly fade away…
The news has been filled lately with updates on the terrible fires (over 200 burning as I write these words) that have sprung up due to lightning strikes and human activity as well as the higher than normal temperatures our province is experiencing this summer, I was drawn to the ocean, hoping to drown out the fiery images broadcast on our television. I can still remember the red sun that shone for days a year or two ago when fire broke out on Vancouver Island, up country (where the fires are burning now at the time of this writing) and also in the state of Washington across the border, our city was plunged into a yellow haze and the innocence of summer seemed forever lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to the many who have been evacuated with some having lost their homes and to the wildlife that has been displaced ahead of the flames… I’ll never forget the haunting image of a group of horses running hard away from the encroaching smoke, their eyes big as they tried to gallop to safety.
When the music ended, I made my way to a shady bench to write down a few notes, not knowing that a recent poem I read from the always inspiring blog, https://amitavchowdhury.wordpress.com, called, “If it’s a desire” would manifest so quickly in real time! I became aware almost as soon as I sat down of a presence beside me and I turned to see who was sitting so close to me, it was a gentle Muslim woman from Saudi Arabia. I said “hello” and turned back to my writing, thinking that we would share this cool shade together for a few moments and that would be it, but instead she began to weave some rare magic which started with a soft nudge, she had a piece of chocolate to share as well as a shy smile and I couldn’t resist such generosity. Soon a young boy joined us with liquid eyes and dark hair, he laughed as he took his own piece of chocolate and the woman beside me began to ask some questions, did I live here in this beautiful place, was I American and did I go swimming?, eventually her daughter came over to help with translation and I learned more about Halima. She is here on holiday for one month and finds this small part of the world a good place, she wanted to know about the seaplanes that come and go as well as where was a playground for the children so I happily answered all her questions amid more nudges to share a handful of roasted peanuts and they laughed when I said,”Once you start to eat these it’s hard to stop!”. Eventually I had to head for home and as I waved to her family, I was struck by how loving she was towards me, how easy it was for us to sit together on that bench, outside of each other’s perceptions of the other and feel love. When I arrived home, I Googled the meaning of her name and could not believe how this Arabic name suited her, her name means: gentle, sweet or patient. As I write this, the memory of that afternoon still leaves me smiling and ever so grateful, when one goes on a walk to taste the sun, you never know, there might be a gift or two waiting…
Lately, some of our beautiful sunsets over English Bay remind me of Mexico, this one was stunning!
As well as the glorious sunsets in the west, we have the beautiful moonrise above the West End in the east. This is a shot of the recent full moon from our balcony!
As well as sunsets and moonlight, there must be roses! These beauties are found at the Rose Garden in Stanley Park (Vancouver, B.C.).
This post is dedicated to Dr. Zelick Perler (March 01, 1935 – July 06, 2017), a lovely gentleman who loved art, hockey and always looked forward to the next Wilbur Smith novel, it was a joy to work for you and your memory will forever be in mine.