these things

The wind, a roar that chased us up the hill through the trees. Crows spilled upwards like smoke from trees of umber fire. November, new moon, cold days and silver light. The ocean has been like pounded steel most days, greased nickel when the wind pummels it at the land. I don't really at all like walking home in the dark, and I don't like the dark mornings much either. What I do like is bearing witness to lazy golden sunrises and pink-flushed sunsets, with no special effort on my part to seek them out.

Yesterday, a long-overdue visit with a best friend. Steaming chai fragrant with honey and superfoods. Bowls of nourishing vegetables, cooked and fermented and coddled just so. Bright magenta beet grapefruit juice. Wanders along familiar but slowly changing streets. The park, which is always there, peacocks, ducks. Bare feet on the beach, cold rock carved out by the last ice age. Books and beautiful tea. Conversation and company.

One day last week I watched Jer pull into the driveway as I came down the path. Once inside the door, he gently steered me back outside and around the bend in the road, where we watched a cat-like barred owl hopping around in the dry leaves and softly flying to perch atop the fence. The next morning before it was quite light, and in the evening (5 pm counts as evening now, right?) as soon as the dusk had settled, the barred owl's who-cooks-for-you call rang across the still backyards.

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I'm learning the tides on my walks to work, and also the short seasons of the flowering plants that inhabit the dry, rocky margins of the shore. Already the long grass has cured to deep gold and I haven't seen the otters frolicking in it for over a week; they drift lazy in the kelp beds instead. The camas and California poppies are almost done, giving way to stonecrop and Nootka rose.  We drove up island to Nanaimo for an evening road trip adventure this week, through shady maples, lush farmland and tall Douglas firs. Now, I know that Nanaimo has some ugly strip malls going on, but the winding streets of the old city centre are pretty charming, and a road trip (with some good pizza at Torta Luna along the way) was just what we needed. 

This has also been a good week for visits. My beautiful, talented friend LA came to the island for a brief visit from the mountains, and we walked and walked, and ate very well indeed. My dad came by my work this morning, and on Sunday we went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my family there. The day was hot and sunny, perfect for drinking coffee, walks down to the beach, and my stepdad M's homemade cider. The salmonberries and honeysuckle were ripe, so I snacked as we walked, leaving a trail of orange trumpet flowers along the roadside. 

I brought some of my watercolour paintings into our local print shop this afternoon. It's part of working towards my dream of having an etsy shop up and running, and selling art prints and mobiles and jewellery, and whatever else I'm drawn to create. Yay!

I hope everyone out there is having a rich and vibrant May. 

PS I'm changing the title of this post because whenever I look at it (just what we needed) I get that old song in my head, even though the words are a little different, and that is perhaps not what we needed.



Here is our big news, a lot late and still largely lacking photos: we got married on a sunny Friday in March. It was a semi-elopement down on a windy beach in Deep Cove, complete with tidal pools, mussel beds and parents. We really liked the idea of throwing a big party, maybe with lanterns and birch print straws, but ultimately decided to keep things simple and keep costs down. To the probable confusion of many of our near and dear, we still sent out invitations* because we'd still like to have a celebration potluck in the summer. IMG_0206 I really don't know what I'm doing with my feet here.

We have seedlings growing in our front window. First, Calabrese broccoli, white cauliflower blend and wild arugula. Now the Genovese and sweet basil, and small sugar pumpkin have energetically erupted forth, and there is more coming up every day. Jer has been working hard out back, tilling and digging and moving soil to prepare our garden beds, but it looks like we'll need to put up deer fencing before we dare plant anything outside.

Strangely- or maybe not-, being married feels normal. Not different at all really, more of a confirmation of what already was. Like I said to Jer, of course we're married. However, it's been a rather rough few weeks for other reasons. I started a new job with a schedule almost opposite my previous one. It's a good change, but is certainly an adjustment. I'm still figuring out how to restructure the days to include important things like making food and sweeping the house, yoga, art and adventures outside. An even better job with in-between sort of daytime hours (this is good) is now almost certainly on the horizon. I'm excited and I think it'll be pretty awesome but am a little scared because it's more of a 'real job' than any I've ever had. We've also been stressing about selling our cute Nelson house and weird expensive details like the old sewer line that the downhill neighbor suddenly wants moved. You get the idea, there's a lot going on. I've been accused of having been miserable for the last little while, so I guess I've got to work on how I handle change and stress. While it's unfortunately (and hopefully temporarily) true that it takes almost nothing to upset me these days, I would like to say that the weather has been temperamental lately as well. Not to justify my moping and snapping but just that it could maybe be vaguely related seeing as our bodies are made up of water and minerals and such so we are hardly immune to the forces of nature. Recently, a day will brood ominously overcast, burst into sun, suddenly wintery winds pick up and dark clouds loom, then torrential rain for a bit before it's all rainbows and sunshine and it does it all over again. I kind of like this crazy weather, but I aim to mellow, temper, sweeten my reactiveness to it all, and then my husband and I will weather this house and job stuff out.

* Ahem... are still sending out invitations because we haven't managed to ask for everybody's address yet. Hence the elopement.

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under soft pewter feathers

Last night I awoke at four-thirty, confused by the glow outside the curtains. Through the windows came the steady sounds of much water arriving quickly on our roof and in our yard. Though I've been enjoying all the sunny weather we've had lately, I've also been somewhat suspicious of it. Too much fair weather and the land will be thirsty come July. This relentless, torrential rain is most welcome. I'm seated between our orange, crackling fireplace and the sodden gray scene out the window, our aged cat on my lap.  Miss Heidi Pudding Pie has gotten very elderly this winter. Once rotund, she now feels tiny and bony with old-cat fur. She spends most of her days on the couch (no change here) and we've been sitting there often, as she appears on a lap within seconds of its arrival and clings fast. A wrap baby carrier has been in our conversations lately so we could keep her with us while tending to areas of life afield from the couch. There is a quiet restfulness to rainy days like these. Certainly, coworkers were discussing napping and books, warm beverages and home. The rain is quieting but not quiet, calming but not still. The sheets of droplets flickering before the trees and the wet patter are continuous. Inside, the fire softly rumbles, causing us to occasionally mistake it for thunder, in a cozy way.

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Friday was another gull day, in a sense. We met "Gulliver" at Witty's Lagoon and brought him to the SPCA's Wild Arc, luckily not too far away. What happened is this: we brought a picnic down to the beach and had just settled against some bleached driftwood logs, bare toes in warm sand (and sand fleas hopping happily about- weird but harmless), when we saw a dog running at the gulls on a sandbar. One gull stayed put. We watched it flap awkwardly then hunker down. The confused dog sniffed at it then backed off. Strengthened by an excellent chocolate almond croissant, Jer went to see if it was okay. I half expected to see him get attacked by a seagull but moments later he was walking towards me, gently holding a juvenile gull in front of him. The bird sat quietly, surprisingly calm (or as we later learned, weak), watching us with big lash-fringed dark eyes, broken wing held slightly askew. Jer had called Wild Arc before even checking the bird out, so we had a plan. He carried Gulliver all the way out of the park, across the marshy area, through the forest and up past the waterfall where white fawn lilies were blooming. Gulliver took it all in quietly, even the concerned and curious strangers and the dark trees. In the car, I sat with Gulliver on my lap, tucked under a cloth, his/her form light and warm under soft pewter feathers. At the center, Gulliver was whisked away to be cared for. We didn't take his/her case number so we won't know how it went, but hopefully this sweet little gull is back out on the beach soon. Ironically, just the evening before, a bad day for Jer was accentuated by a gull (we think) dropping the kind of gift gulls are best at down the back of his blue shirt. This resulted in jokingly cursing gulls that evening with friends, but it's nice to see that he doesn't hold a grudge. I think we both like gulls better since having met Gulliver.  Outside our window now, the seagulls are holding court in the soggy field and flying around like it's not even raining.

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