otters

fullness

I'm feeling pretty good about things right now. I've been working overtime so have a big paycheck coming my way. Jer has been in the kitchen a lot lately, making us gourmet dinners, and at the moment I'm writing this, has strawberry vanilla ice cream chilling in the freezer. My elderly cat and my dentally and directionally challenged rabbit have both been improving by leaps and bounds, and it is beyond heartening to see them looking healthy again. When I left work on Thursday, the wind had picked up and was whipping around me as I crossed the bridge. The walkway was almost empty on the way home and the fullness of the wind hurt my ears and wrapped around my legs as I walked. I came across a toy dog staring devotedly at an older man on a bench with a twist-dial radio playing crackly old French music and I felt like I had stepped into a scene from Amelie. 

The next morning was clear and sweet and summery, blue sky vaulted high and the sea calm. Rose petals, blown by the wind, were scattered all through the dry grass, red on sun-bleached gold. 

A family of Canada geese swam by, the goslings fluffy with soft down. I also saw an otter, frisking about on the point. 

This week I made herbed cheddar bread; I am so looking forward to having more spare time for baking projects. For now, bed. 

        

Monday

It is near impossible to continue having a rotten afternoon when watching six otters dipping and diving, frolicking and feasting. They are so graceful, sleek and lithe, and were eating noisily and playfully turning cartwheels in the ocean.  Also, I am blessed with the most wonderful friends. The kind who send luminous postcards and beautiful shirts by snail mail, out of the blue. 

Sunday was just right: I gained several precious inches of soil back from the buttercups, and planted tomatoes, Jer made crêpes,and the day slipped by in a peaceful, puttering way. We had a nice visit with Jer's parents, and I made a friend who is as fond of peppermint tea as I am (A substantial garden bed full? The minimum. Let it take over the yard!)

Past bedtime, I remembered the garden, the garden looking thirsty in the midday sun. All the little plants we are tending and gentling along. There was no choice but to go water it. With the exception of the slugs, which had lurked their way out for an evening salad crawl, the nighttime garden is a magical place (and I'm sure the slugs would beg to differ). The first quarter moon was bright in the soft indigo sky, and everything was quiet and shadowy and new. 

       

Golden

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.

       

the garden

In the gray morning, I watched an otter swimming in the clear water by the mermaid statue on my way to work. Sleek and playful in the small, lapping waves, it made me wish for summer beach days. On my way home, in the sunny afternoon heat (yes!) I watched an otter climbing and sliding on rocks below some people who were lounging in the sun. The otter kept creeping closer to them, then scuttling back and rolling happily in camas and tall grass. At home, the garden is my new favorite place. We stayed out there, planting, weeding and watering until the last rays of sunlight disappeared over the fence. Some of our salad greens are starting to come up, and the onions, and the raspberry transplants are sprouting new canes. Tomorrow we'll be planting beets and again battling the buttercups. Ranunculus, that rascal, is my least favorite plant. If it were safe for rabbits to nibble I'd feel quite differently about its adventitiously sprawling growth.

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beautiful, and better

This week has been beautiful. It has also felt much longer than a week. I could easily be led to believe that the days have always been structured just so, that is the extent of my settling into this new routine. My new job (yes, another and they just keep getting better and better) settles nicely into that place between breakfast and mid/late afternoon, weekdays. It's refreshing. My commute is a 30 minute walk, mostly along the ocean. Tuesday morning, I saw otters playing in the grass beside the path. The greening, flushing out of trees is continuing. Chestnut branches are like candelabras with their pillars of flowers. We went for a pre-birthday brunch and wildflower walk last Sunday, a gloriously sunny, 21-degree day.

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