It's been grey for a week, the sun hidden behind the fog. I remember the same thing last winter when it felt like the clouds were pressing down on me. Growing up on the west coast it is easy to forget the grey, to see it as everyday. Then yesterday I ran into a friend who remarked how beautiful the weather has been. It made me look again with new eyes and reminded me "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are" (Anais Nin). Beauty abounds.
I can hear them from our house and no wonder. There are literally thousands of sea lions along the shore and small islands from Ford's Cove to Heron Rocks and apparently even more all along the coast of East Vancouver Island from Campbell River to Nanaimo. Playful, loud, photogenic and funny, the sea lions remind me of the children who inhabit the warmer tides of summer. Inspiring with their innocence and big, sweet eyes, I am reminded how joy cannot be purchased, only shared.
With our trusty Lucy by our side, we spent part of today walking further afield along Anderson Drive. It took only a few steps to find new wonder, reassuring me there is still so much to discover living here. Struck staring at the intersection of ocean and shore, the gentle January First light made me ponder what else 2015 has in store. If this is any indication, it is going to be a happy new year indeed.
This is the first glimpse I catch of the ocean on my way home from doing whatever business comes with living on Hornby. Sometimes I'm riding my bike and sometimes I'm in the car but it always makes me turn my head. The sky is at times overwhelmingly blue and at others grey but always commanding and spectacular. And if I'm particularly lucky the cows grazing complete the fairytale of a farm sitting beside the elegance of the sea.
There is no denying I love taking a shower. And after 4 years of tending to things always higher on the priority list, we finally got the chance to renovate and upgrade the bathroom. Thanks to our handy friend Aaron along with multiple trips to Splashes, Home Depot, and, of course, the Co-op, we created the bathroom of our dreams.
Now every morning I start my day with warm little raindrops falling on my head. Another bonus is the increased water pressure from upgrading the 30 year old plumbing. In a stroke of renovation providence we were able to work the orange vanity tile into the shower to tie new and old together. Thank goodness for the secret hoarders in us that kept the random tiles we found when we bought the house.
Of course, after the dust settled and got cleaned, we got into some serious styling. I'm not really a hanging-shower-caddy-getting-knocked-around kinda guy so instead we opted for this sweet ceramic stand that gives the shower more of a room in a room kind of feel.
Is it possible for someone to fall in love with a sink? Michael certainly thinks so. We are so lucky that the new sink and old vanity (revitalized with a swanky shade of country green) seemed made for each other.
And this little piece of DIY my talented husband conjured up finished it all. We laugh because its another project where I provided the one percent of inspiration and Michael, as usual, came up with the rest. How I love to find things for him to do. That said, we kept promising one another that this will be it for a while. But we are truly discovering that when you own a home you love those are just famous last words. And what is a home without guests?
Grey rules the sky this Fall, a grey reflected by the mirror of the water surrounding Hornby. It brings greater appreciation though for the pumpkin pie of trees along the south west side of the island and a welcome break for the armies of downward cast mushroom gatherers revelling in this year's bounty.
The summer crowds have packed up their excitement and the ducks reclaim their court. And while still warm the morning air holds the promise of Autumn sweaters and wholesomeness. This life is always the letting go of something dear to embrace something different and while not new this cycle of change learned from years of walking the same line is comforting. Whatever the day and new season bring I know I will meet it with wonder.
Sophie lived where she loved the most. From her first time here in 1998 running up and down Helliwell at full force, unstoppable and unflappable, to when we moved here and she could roam around in the backyard (and sometimes much further), blind, deaf and completely safe. Oh, and happy. She lived well and I am so thankful to our Hornby home for giving her such freedom.
The mornings are cool before the warmth of the day and night comes too soon. Crickets rub their legs and our fruit trees ripen. And the perfect time for a day sailing. Feeling blessed.
Sometimes I wonder whether I could imagine anything more beautiful or magical than what supernatural Hornby has to offer. And then other times I know I couldn't even if I tried.
There is a new watering hole on Hornby and it's been packed since its opening. Right outside our dining room window, the antics of these thirsty daredevils' fierce sibling rivalry keep me rapt with focused attention.
Waking up in the middle a Hornby night is easily forgiven when I am met with amusement. Like last night when I looked up in the near absolute darkness to watch the moon blush red hot.
I rose this morning early as usual, and went to my desk. But it's spring, and the thrush is in the woods, somewhere in the twirled branches, and he is singing.
And so now I am standing by the open door. And now I am stepping down on the grass. I am touching a few leaves. I am noticing the yellow butterflies move together, in a twinkling cloud, over the field.