Blessing of the waters…..I never really understood the religious ceremony of blessing water. After all it is water that blesses us. It is us. Our sweat, our blood, our tears, mucus, saliva, our eyes, our sex, our digestion and elimination. Life is moist and blooming, full of sap and dew. Death is dry, barren, the inner desert. Here is water from the high mountain rushing to the salty sea, to temper and dilute it and in time to rise as a rain cloud to fall again on the mountain. Yes, the water blesses us and reminds us of what we are.

Oyster River

On the trails of the Pacific North-West

There is something so Canadian about this notice. As I prepared for an awe-inspiring hike on the East coast of Vancouver Island this provided a chuckle. Also very Canadian but not so whimsical was the note on the trail-head notice board that zero days had elapsed since the last bear siting in the park. Since I have a visceral fear of bears it was only my even stronger stubborn streak that drove me on. A trail fringed with immensely tall and straight coniferous trees finally delivered me to aptly named Miracle Beach. The vista of snow capped mountains sitting across the Straight of Georgia on the BC mainland was literally jaw-dropping and I had to sit on a fallen titan to recover. My country, ’tis more than little me.

On the West Coast

Big Moma Tree

On Vancouver Island what strikes me as so different from my home in Montreal are the trees, the shrubs in gardens, the whole green vibe of the place. “Vibe” huh? Into this West Coast thing already! I am here visiting my daughter who has just got in under the barbed wire fence that is current Canadian real estate. If she had not bought this modest home on a little over half an acre of land when she did early this year, we agree that her chance would have been gone. The West Coast is different. The local grocery store is full of “spelt” and “kamut”, obscure cereals and organic coffee. When I bring home popcorn I am reminded that Liz does not own a microwave. I’ve only been here three days and already I’ve been introduced to a Pilates instructor and a flooring guy who showed up on a pristine vintage Harley Davidson.

I went on a hike in a coastal park the other day and came back with this picture. This is what I feel like sometimes – the old mother tree hosting younger growth. I just love the coolness and shade of this place. Off to a beach scene today where I expect to see snow-covered mountains – from the beach!