Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I love this place

I love the Indian plum blooming in February.

I love the glassy transparent green of Mannion Bay in the evening.

I love the smell of soil coming to life in the forest.

I love a local cafe covered in blue hearts.

I love the creeks rushing into the sea, over waterfall and between the roots of cedars and firs.

I love the way people's shoulders drop and the way they take lungfuls of air after walking off the ferry.

I love that I can't go anywhere without being interrupted with a hello.

Just gratitude this morning.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

We lost a big one today

Piers Hayes, our village maitre d' and man of the house at the Snug died today.  This came out:


So many of us never had a name
when we walked through the door of the snug
but it was all the same to him;
he knew that you 
would always respond if he just called you “Blue"

He was a blue eyed charmer
a maitre d' for a whole community
a casual character that buzzed like bee
from table to table, knitting together strangers
with his self-deprecating humour
but with a laser focus on what he could do
to make the world a little less blue.

I heard him once tell the story 
of how he left the azure skies of Africa
and shipped his family on the turquoise sea
and for years they saw every colour it could be - 
the greys and greens and dark blue deep
storm tossed and washed in adventure
held in the currents that carried them between continents.

He never entered quietly
But he blew into a room
like a Salish Sea southeasterly
or hollered out hellos and bellowed greetings
from behind the bar, meeting
each customer as a friend,
tending tender connections

The day he died, the rain was steely grey.
As if the blue had seeped out of the sea and the sky
and pierced every heart that broke and every soul that cried
with the news that he was gone.
He left us stories and affection
and a recognition that we will always remember
how we belong.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A bit about the deeper reasons beneath the work I do

A couple of years ago - back when I had long hair - I was doing some work in Estonia, where I was part of a team of people that were leading a week long workshop learning about leadership, complexity, dialogue and belonging.  I was interviewed under a tree one afternoon about some of the concepts and the deeper implications of what we teach in the Art of Hosting workshops, which itself is, at its simplest, a set of practices to help facilitate participatory meetings better.  I talked a bit about what the Art of Hosting means, the need to dance with chaos and order and the learning from the deeper patterns of how life works.

I share this here on this blog because a lot of what I have learned about living with change has come from living on Bowen Island.  The bulk of this ten minute interview is basically my operating principles when it comes to living in my community, dancing between chaos and order, welcoming change and bringing helpful form and cultivating the belonging that the heart truly desires.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Big atmospheric river

This is a photo of the atmospheric river that is currently drenching us in wet, warm and windy weather.  It extends all the way down to and west of Hawaii and is one of the biggest atmospheric rivers to ever hit our coast.

It is what it says it is.  A river of moisture coming along the upper atmosphere driving tropical moisture on to our coast.  We're due 50-80 mm of rain over the  next couple of days, which is 2-3 inches.  It is currently cascading off the house.

I went out for a walk this evening, down to the Cove to get some food for dinner, in the dark and the wind and the rain.  I had only a t shirt on under my rain jacket, it was so warm.

There is no such thing as bad weather.  Only bad clothing.  Enjoy the rain.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Under the volcano

Beautiful sunrise this morning with a rare twist. About 150 Kms to the east of us is Mount Baker, a 10000 foot volcano that sits on Vancouver's eastern horizon. This morning's sunrise cast the volcano's shadow on the mamatus clouds in the eastern sky.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wind and snow

Our stretch of sunny dry and cold weather has come to an end and big fat flakes of snow have been falling on and off over the last couple of days.  At our altitude, it's been a boundary conditions between snow and rain, as it so often is, so very little is sticking here, but everything is sticking higher up.

It already feels like a much more typical winter than the arid ones of the past two years.  We've had ice on Josephine Lake where a shinny game broke out on the weekend, probably one of the few lakes in the lower mainland of BC where you can skate when the conditions are right.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Only on Bowen.

It's a hoarfrost kind of day, kind of cold out and the ground is covered in snow, frost and ice.  Sitting in The Snug having lunch when a weekend visitor comes in saying the he blew out his shoes hiking and all he has is flip flops. Nothing's open. 

We were about to post in Facebook and the forum when Will, the cook here, heads to the back and comes out with his pair of spare shoes. Fits perfectly. Stranger will bring them back tomorrow when he leaves. 

Does that happen where you live?