A Sunday between rainstorms is the perfect opportunity to hike around Helliwell and its stunning panorama. Despite it being January there are signs Spring is close; eagles standing sentinel in the tall trees, serenading sea lions barking in the distance, and flocks of seagulls gathered on Flora Islet. Signs the Herring Run is coming close.
Warm sunshine grace the bluffs and our faces and we walk in gratitude for the good fortune of living on Hornby in the winter.
To celebrate my birthday I made my way to Phipps Point. I drive by it every time we come home from farther afield off-island and its beauty always calls. Today we arrived at high tide so we were held to the old dock and treated to expansive views of the mountains on Vancouver Island.
I never leave for the big city without country tastes from Hornby to sweeten my visit. For my parents the walnuts collected from under our tree backyard and homemade jam, picked at the height of the summer under the August sun, for my dear friends. Each jar is filled with the twisting and the reaching it took to gather Hornby's famous blackberries and its nice to think about them coming to their fruition.
Winter in the country. Like a good guest, the snow was gone in a day and no trouble whatsoever.
It just insulates us and holds us in a deeper silence.
Everyday wonders dusted with white.
Quick confession: I didn't take this picture. The subtleties of taking photos of bright lights in the dark sky continue to elude me. One of our guests this summer was kind enough to share their talent with us. It makes me smile to imagine people enjoying our home in much the same way as we do; sitting on the balcony, staring up into the sky bordered by tall trees and immersed in the quiet of Hornby. It speaks to a kinship of spirit and a shared togetherness. Many thanks to Geoff for this picture and for the generosity of spirit that comes with it.
I'm posting this mostly to record my utter shock. For Michael to even attempt getting in, it has to be like bathwater. Lucy is a little harder to convince but she watched faithfully from the shore. And what a shoreline our local beach boasts.
I even got up on the log. Such a great day!
We're getting ready for our summer rentals, doing everything we can to make sure our guests have a great time during their holidays here in paradise. Not that Hornby really needs any help. Recently we were the lucky recipients of these gorgeous pots from our dear friends feng shui and we can't help feeling it makes driving up to the house that much more of a coming home.
Food is life; it nourishes the mind, body and soul and brings us together for good times and happiness. So we couldn't be more grateful for the gift of this homegrown lettuce from our good friend Deb's garden.
Having lived here five years on Hornby, I learned home is not a place as much as a feeling. It is the people in my life that I carry in my heart, the ones everyday and the ones faraway. It's the moments people here made me laugh with abandon, cry without shame, and the moments when hello or goodbye crack open with love. To me, my home on Hornby isn't a place anymore. Its become the dazzling sunrise from the east and the wind tumbling the tall trees that surround. It's found in the happy walks either in the rain or the sun with Michael and our dogs. Its catching up with Becca or Juanita at the Co-op checkout and the teatime break during Life Drawing. Its waving at each and every person that drives by and the impromptu conversations with people you come across at the beach. And it is most especially the kind and fascinating people that inhabit my life; my students, my neighbours, and my dear friends that share bread, smiles, and happiness around our dining room table and the many tables we've been invited to around the island. Home is the joy that lives in the interconnected lives, hands and hearts that fill this house and island.
The yard is sopping and squishes underfoot as I walk across it. Often the grass-turned-mud sticks me in place and requires I take a little extra effort with each step. The dripping trees are far past saturation and the creek runs quickly to the sea. The older I get the more I appreciate the ubiquitous rain of our west coast. This warm winter is so inviting that I find myself pulled into the yard in admiration. It gives me time to notice the perfect circles forming in the pool that use to be my driveway.