Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year's blessing

From our own poet of the woods, LIsa Shatzky:

Had we one more day 

it would not be stuffing envelopes 
to save the world, 
citing love as our reason 
for feasting on romanticized 
atrocities in the nightly news 
(which are still atrocities, cold 
and ordinary, come morning) 
and believing 
that if we analyzed and dissected 
our suffering long and hard 
enough and set up camps 
in stations of the lost 
and joined the victims 
and survivors and born 
again wounded, 
some kind of healing 
would happen. 

Oh, perhaps some good came of all that 
learning and unlearning the languages 
of sorrow which hung heavy 
around our necks and cut 
deeply in our lips, 
but had we one more day 
I imagine we might have 
chosen instead the laughing 
geese above us and their gawking 
at the melodramas 
we made. 

Under the cedars we might have 
lingered, graced by slowness 
of breath and the utter importance 
of the hummingbird 
and petals from delicate 
flowers falling 
with the fragile forgiveness 
of the seasons 
and the godliness of laughter 
and the tenacity of the beating heart 
carrying on without needing 
to know why. 

As remarkable as finding ourselves 
awake, at last, trembling 
and seeing each other 
for the first time. 

lisa shatzky (published in The New Quarterly, 2010, and Simple Praise,2009) 

Happy New Year Bowen Islanders, you irrascible, joyous, generous, garrolous, irritating, humourous, faithful, caring, bunch of humans.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter morning

Ten thirty on a winter morning is one of my favorite times. The village is quiet, the light us low in the sky and on a day like this everything us relaxes. People are where they intend to be a no one is rushing to and fro. Things grow quiet and still.

At the Causeway this morning the tide is very high, flowing in and out of the lagoon with the breath of the swell. There are ducks lazily floating on the water - mallards and buffleheads - and a faint rushing of the waterfall can be heard upstream. A short loop takes me up to an old Douglas for and back through the Memorial Garden to the Snug where a nice espresso awaits. No rush. Easy island time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve storm

Seems like most Christmas Eves around here we have a storm of some kind.  Two years ago we had a foot of snow and today, as we have had in other years, the southeasterlies are blowing at gale force and the rain is lashing down on our little island. Time to build a fire and tuck into to a couple of days of relaxation and visiting with family and friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunset and moon rise

A beautiful clear day in Howe Sound.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cocoa West

The chocolates at Cocoa West. Christmas goodies!  Joanne is world class (but then we knew that akready!)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Bowen Christmas craft fair

It's like Bowfest with coats on!

Friday, December 3, 2010

One of those days

The rain has cleared out and the weather has warmed up. Looked this morning as if the freezing level was at about 900 meters as we crossed Howe Sound. Clearing skies as we enter the month to celebrate darkness and light. Last night my kids sang in the Penrhyn Academy Christmas recital which always runs close to having the performers outlined the audience. Over 100 people there last night to kick off the season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ken Miller passes

Ken Miller has died in Nova Scotia.

When I first moved to Bowen, Ken got my attention.  He was a short man with a straight laced attitude, quiet and shy.  He reminded me of the many people I have met in the Cariboo in BC.  He often stood with his thumbs locked in the belt buckles of his jeans, chest thrust out, proudly taking in the world.

Over the years I got to know him a little, chatting at the beach in Tunstall Bay where he was a regular fixture in the summertime, hanging with his family in the "Miller's Kitchen."  I had some great conversations there with him about his days beach combing the Bowen shores.

Outside of Tunstall Bay, Ken was perhaps best known for being the master of ceremonies at the annual polar bear swim every new year's day.  In these videos from 2008 and 2009 you can see Ken wielding his bullhorn, wearing his winter hat and sunglasses, tending the fire, counting down and encouraging everyone to get wet and cold.  At the end of the 2010 video, he has a now poignant signing off.  The polar bear swim won't be the same without him.

Ken took ill last February and was in hospital in Nova Soctia.  He died there on Monday.  Condolences to Susan, Kelly and Cindy.

Ambrose leaves us

Another friend Has left us. And Ambose Merrell has done it in a most tender way.