out of the shade

This afternoon, still somewhat dazed from not enough sleep and stepping out of the shade-dark bakery and yesterday's grey drizzle into a dazzling blue-skied sunny spring day, I lingered in the street for a moment before starting the car. A moment was long enough to watch a miniature tornado of white-pink cherry petals spin down the street like an invisible whirling dervish delighting in the wayward blossoms. I start as a counter girl at -my favorite- our local bakery this week. I don't remember ever being so excited about a job before. It feels right.

I feel tonight's dinner deserves a mention: local happy eggs fried in organic butter, salt and pepper, a perfectly ripe avocado sliced haphazardly, a slosh of lemon juice, sprinkling of hemp hearts, generous grating of grana padano and handful of spring greens. Last night the man made pancakes with carob, cinnamon, ginger and raisins.

Today's porch-rail observations/ramblings: There's a crow in the closest spruce tree making rattle-croaks, like a glossy black wind-up clock counting up its own enjoyment. Soft wingbeats to my side announced a bird passing by, hedgebound. I turned to look and saw cherry petals glitter like snowflakes in the chiaroscuro edge of the shadow of a house. The clouds are a mottling, almost mackerel sky but too puffed and sprawling. Cirrocumulus castellanos, perhaps. The narcissus nod, thin green stems bending as six-petalled white stars and orange crowns bob. A moth that looks like it unfolded itself out of narcissus petals drags across the sky above the low garden.

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Of course the clouds were doing something different by the time I photographed them. Michette loves the sunshine.


This morning it was misting lightly, still in darkness. The sun rose to drizzle, then washed sunshine by noon. This afternoon piles of gray clouds occupied the sky. The air was mild and soft, lightened by spring pollen and the twittering of songbirds. Out the window, it was nothing much, an in-between gray, but this spring air speaks welcome in a thousand languages. I was outside to hear the soft static of the rain starting, the singular drops and then the rhythm. I was still seated on the porch rail when the birds changed their song to more liquid warbling (and the neighbor with the leaf-blower was doing WHAT?). The astrology of today is all harsh squares and angles but the weather is restorative. I lingered outside just to breathe it in and be a part of it. Petrichor and the fragrance of blossoms lilted by on a breeze like a breath. Such sweetness in this place, this time of reaching for and gaining light. I sat sleepy and adrift in my mind on the porch, lulled by the sounds around me. I feel like I need to state that my job is not terrible, it's just not right for me. About as suited as a cat in the ocean, perhaps. And almost done, hooray!

This evening, rain and a double rainbow over still-light fields and the calm ocean.

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I'm staying up "late" to write this (with a 4 a.m. wake up tomorrow, bedtime shifts much earlier) because it feels important, a kind of commitment to myself. The cats have just come in from their evening posts on the front steps, and we're settling in. Today began with a nervous drive to work and flew by in the way that balancing baking trays and trays of tarts and pastries on a timeline does. Not a single stall on the way home today (!) and I was stuck behind a bus too.

This evening we came home smelling of hay and horses. We filled big bags with loose timothy hay swept from the floor of my uncle's trailer*. At $30 for a medium-sized bag at the pet supply store, it felt almost like driving home with a car full of sweet-smelling gold. I am so grateful for the generosity of our relatives here. Last night we came home with three dozen multicoloured eggs after visiting J's parents.

Driving out to visit my aunt's horse with our car full of hay, the sky glowed vibrant pink and orange behind tall Douglas-firs and old Garry oaks. It rained a little this afternoon, in a soothing, refreshing way. Sometimes life on this island seems so delicate and precious. Soon endangered Garry oak meadows will fill with resplendent waves of purple satin flowers, white fawn lilies and pink shooting stars. But looking down at the smooth rock and gnarled roots, I'm reassured.

* if anyone in Victoria is looking for a good source of hay please let me know

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