A Poet’s Nanaimo

The Winter Season of Samhain and Birds that Touch Down

We’re headed for the season of rest when living things around us will be dormant for a while. They are so wise!

Molly Peacock wrote in her personal essay, “On Dormancy,” that “freezing and thawing are the necessary conditions of all creativity. Dormancy, the province of our irises, belongs to us, too. Every bit of flora – even a reliable […]

Newness in the Hinges

The poems are steeping; Jami Sieber’s CD Second Sight is playing – her voice and cello – and nothing is calling me to be anywhere else. The two cats are calm too. Even Squeaker who spent most of the summer outside is napping on the corner of my bed.

I can thank poet Nikkey Finney for that notion of steeping. […]

Rooting Ourselves in the Present

Cilantro has been cut for the black bean and corn salad. Its scent adds spring to the air. Grilled cheese sandwiches are hugely round – not yet grilled in a sort-of leaning tower of Pisa in the showcase along with sugary pastries, croissants with salami, overly stuffed egg salad sandwiches.

Alan greets me with a question: “Decaf Americano?” It’s more […]

Cottage Time

Fall has really arrived when the outside tap has been turned off and there’s no more watering of the front garden or filling up of the fountain. (Not only the birds like to drink there, our outside cat does too!) The rain is going to start pretty soon and although our home is colourful already, we’re going to add […]

Coming Home

Susan Musgrave posted on facebook a few days ago, from Haida Gwaii, that Stephen Reid “arrived on the ferry this morning so that we can start the rest of our lives together forever again and I stood by the window, the dutiful wife, wrapped in yellow Crime Scene tape like an old oak tree.” (As it happens, Stephen didn’t […]

Bringing Back the Boon

One of my new friends from Vancouver Island Lodge went home a week before I did. She seemed a bit wobbly as she contemplated the transition. Hers was an eight-month cancer journey of surgery and treatment. Life was put on hold for that time and so she wondered, now what?

I gave Hecate (not her real name but a goddess […]

Serendipity and Other Good Things

Friday is a special day at “cancer camp.” We get to go home.

On Friday I got the first Wheels for Wellness van out of Victoria and was home in Nanaimo before noon.

The van is one of sixteen operated by Wheels for Wellness, a free service delivering people to their appointments in Victoria or Nanaimo or wherever else they need […]

The Way is Made by Walking

The title of this blog comes from Proverbios y cantares XXIX by Antonio Machado: “Wanderer, there is no road, the way is made by walking.” The words come to mind as I spend part of each day in Victoria taking a walk.

On Thursday it was the gardens of Government House. There were so many signs of the pilgrim’s journey […]

Lost and Found

I’m inspired by Nanaimo artist Dale Schultz who takes daily walks with his dog Indy. Dale posts photos on facebook of what he sees along the way: an abandoned couch, close-up details of a brick wall, a fallen leaf on pavement. Lately, while taking walks in Victoria during the week, I’ve been taking photos too.

The new shoe caught my […]

Little Altars Everywhere

I’m more accepting this week – of the baseball game on TV at the lodge where I’m staying, of the Conservative at the dinner table. It turns out we’re able to laugh at the same things. (I will continue though to point out that voting Conservative is a very bad idea.) Basically though, I’m thinking why fight or reject […]