the moon

this morning, and last night, and the night before

I go out into the garden before I'm fully awake in the mornings, last tendrils of sleep wrapping around the trellised peas and eyes a little blurry in the light of the already blue sky. My purpose is to pick greens for the rabbits' breakfast, but it is also a lovely way to start the day. This morning there were two juvenile crows just waking up in the big tree by the house, stretching their glossy black wings and shuffling their feet, looking down at me in the garden and making soft groggy sounds, and a squirrel already busy in the tree's higher branches. Last night we watched the Canada Day fireworks from our front porch. It was so nice to be home, and to lean against my husband on the porch rail. Earlier in the evening, we had walked through the park to the footbridge and watched all manner of boats streaming by towards the inner harbour- rowboats, kayaks, paddleboards, powerboats. People also drifted past on their bicycles, some with pockets bulging with beer cans, and families walked by in hordes, lugging blankets and lawnchairs. Coloured lights expanded in circles, hovered for an instant, some shimmering as they faded. Their spidery smoke shadows lingered longer, illuminated in the dazzling brightness. But you've all seen fireworks before.

Better still was the swimming in the afternoon - we slipped into a lake that was refreshing but not cold, shallow rocks to dive off, and I swam past water lilies, out to an island and under overhanging Douglas fir branches laden with cones and a steep shore covered in fireweed and pink spirea.

I made a crazy hippie necklace today, with a quartz point hanging from a large faceted chunk of blue kyanite, the rest a frenzy of twisted silver wire and gemstone beads. I made it for fun, not thinking I would actually wear the thing, and playfully named the creation "dreaming happiness" as only an ornament involving a large chunk of kyanite and multiple other coloured crystals should be called. I did try it on to make sure it was a reasonable necklace size though, and ended up wearing it to the grocery store, and out for dinner, and I felt so sad and mopey after I took it off this evening that I put it back on and am wearing it now. So that's that.

I'm not sure if I realized before beginning, but gardening is a labor of love. That, or folly, but we are just novices. I've been tugging out some kind of nightshade with white flowers and fruit like small green tomatoes. I had yet to identify it so left a few of the robust, sprawling plants in case they turned out to be a lovely elephantine wildflower that we planted in a misguided attempt to decorate the garden borders, or perhaps the best crop of accidental eggplants this island has ever seen. It turns out the stuff is American Black Nightshade, so I will definitely be removing the rest of it tomorrow. My greasy hair drove me to the garden (I know, the shower would have been an excellent choice, but the weeding really needs to happen around here somehow), where I weeded with angst and ferocity, and also patience and some mindful and methodical mulling, for hours. The moonrise found me sullen and tired, though the full moon shone bright opalescent in a gradation of sky all smokey blues and lilacs. I barely noticed the sunset light up hot pink along long, low clouds in the west. Later, in a lull in the dull popcorn sound of amateur fireworks and the wails of sirens towards town, Venus and Jupiter appeared, glowing brightly very close together, well beyond the branches of the big pine tree that towered over us. The darkening garden was quiet with the small rustles of an evening breeze, moths' wings, birds settling.

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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. 

       

a new approach

Sometimes I long to be a bird. Not so much for flight even, but the intimate knowing of trees. For the spaces between branches to open up to me and for my view of  the world to be framed with fragrant fir fronds. Today is a beautiful sunny day. The moon is full, though out of sight now, and it feels lucky. I'm about to try a new approach in freeing myself from my current job and its shitty hours: praying to the universe for a windfall. Frankly it seems more fruitful and pleasing than a desperate hunt.

We awoke in our new tiny bedroom to so much light. And cats miaowling (one cat, anyway- those who've met her know which one). Yesterday morning I accidentally opened a jar of plum chutney for Jer's toast instead of the lovely jam we were expecting. Today he left without breakfast. Hmmm.

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pleasing results

I've been eating the same dinner for four nights now. This has worked out beautifully with early bedtimes and switching the contents of two rooms today (a disastrous-looking event with pleasing results). This meal started as a soup on Sunday and leaned heavily towards appetizing sludge as I scraped the dutch oven this evening. It's lentil, potato and leek based with onion and carrots and minced broccoli greens (or some kind of brassica leaves  from the farm market- but shh because Jer doesn't know that I added them). Because it turned out a little bland, we swirled pesto in (yum!) and added some slices of cheddar (also always a good idea) and I poached eggs to place on top of mine. We're also consuming six-day sourdough bread. The bread was meant to be two days from feeding the sourdough but life got busy and it waited in the fridge. I finally got around to baking it yesterday and it seems to have turned out fine, with a complex sweet-nutty-sour flavor. We've eaten one loaf already. I love where we live. At dusk the full moon loomed behind cherry blossoms on the hill. Earlier in the day out the same window, I saw the morning sun illuminate a field of frosted grass. A robin on the fence was beginning to trill. I've always felt that robins are emblems of spring. On the opposite side of the house, out the kitchen window juncos and chickadees were hopping about.

I haven't posted for a few days because I have been very focused on going to bed. Not a lot has changed. Zephyr managed to get onto my desk which was quite a surprise for me (she just nonchalantly surveyed my papers, lamp and jewellery supplies). She just came trundling down the hallway at full speed. Quite a handful, this bunny. Seven is more active and seems much more confident and better balanced so we think her medicine is working. In other news, Jer pulled some kind of hair creature out of our tub drain and unclogged our sink drain with vinegar and baking soda, earning him a home handyman plumbing gold star.

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the sky in the evening

I'm on my way to bed. Hoping that one day I'll look in the mirror and the shadows under my eyes will have faded in darkness. Some days it's easy to get down. How it would bolster my comfort in the world to know what's for dinner, but at least there are endless possibilities for dinner. I need to repeat to myself that everything has a way of working out perfectly, and to remind myself that things have a way of happening better than expected. That even though I feel stuck, so much has been happening, and so much good unfolding. Here is what I've noticed lately.

Pink and blue clouds of the crepuscular sky reflected calico on the smooth water near the shore.

Sliver of a crescent moon in the sky, earthshine moon behind. Twice reflected sunlight or moonglow mist. Venus brighter than the moon and hovering below its lapel. Not a star, belied by its steady gaze. Stellar scintillation happening overhead though, a tiny twinkling to the left.

Clutches of crows lifting off rooftops like smoke or dandelion seeds against blue sky, white clouds like ridges in sandbars.

Yesterday we returned to the lagoon and on the beach in front of where we pulled up a stately and elegant swan stood at the water's edge, facing us. It stayed still for some time, towering over the ducks which surrounded it like cygnets around a protector. Yesterday also, I wore a summer dress and J dug our yard into a garden.

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