Saturday, December 2, 2006

A great day to reconnect to this beautiful place. I have been working away for so long that I sometimes feel like I've begun to forget what it is like to live in community here. Today was one of those days that put me right back at home.

I began the day by taking the kids out for brunch at The Galley in Artisan Square. We ran into Amrita Sondhi there, who has just published an amazing cookbook of Ayurvedic cooking. Many of the recipes and anecdotes are by and about Bowen Islanders, making it surprising local. It is a wonderful book, very beautifully designed and full of incredible food. I've been on Amrita to launch the book here in a typical Bowen way: with a potluck. Perhaps soon...

After a hot chocolate and a Perfect Marriage at Cocoa West, I stopped in to hear Jude Neale read and sing a little at her book launch. She has compiled a book of poetry - very spare poems and very full of little twists, like haikus. Jude is a woman of tremendous presence and these poems seem to take that presence and drill it deeply into single moments.

Home to play and eat a little and then we returned to the Cove for the annual Lighting of the Cove which really kicks off the Christmas Season. Islanders gather at Artisan Square and accompanied by Morris Dancers and caroling choirs, we troop down to the the lower Cove, stopping at Village Square, the Orchard Cottages and finally the Union Steamship Marina, where Santa arrives on the water taxi and hot chocolate and mulled wine is liberally distributed. Along the way we sing carols and visit with each other. This year, I finally met Ambrose Merrel and his family who have been long time readers of this blog from the UK. They moved here this fall to start a new life on our little rock and are just as lovely in person as they have been online for all this time.

Crunchy snow and crisp air was the canvas upon which today's events played out. Some years we have drowned in rain during the Lighting of the Cove. This year was a perfect, lovely and seasonal event. I feel right back at home.