between seasons

Hammond River, late afternoon

The days are getting so short. It’s still dark when I get up in the morning, and the sun has set by suppertime. Autumn’s spectacular display of colour has been swept away by the November storms, and now the trees stand bare and waiting.

Autumn is over, and winter has not yet begun. We have feasted in celebration of Thanksgiving (except for our friends in the States), the ritual of Hallowe’en has passed in a shower of candy, and the season of Advent will soon begin. Before the last-minute Christmas panic sets in, before the cold weather arrives to stay, there are a few precious days. This is the time for looking back and planning ahead, reflection and preparation, as we anticipate the miracle of Christmas and the gift of light.

Photo taken on November 13, 2010

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dialogue

When I was in my teens, I had a great idea for a story featuring Walter Snafflegrass the pigeon. Walter, having a bird’s eye view of the city, would have had all sorts of interesting observations. Unfortunately — or fortunately — Walter’s story remains unwritten, except in my imagination (where it keeps excellent company), but the idea of Walter remains with me. And sometimes I think I can hear the pigeons talking: “Coo…coo…could you come a little closer?” “Coo…coo…cool it, Romeo.” “Coo…coo…come on over.” “Coo…coo…ooo, you’re encorrigible!”

…or maybe they’re just talking about the weather.

Taken on August 24, 2010

foggy future

You are on a bridge, looking toward the future. What do you see? Is there a corner, or a window, or a door? Do you know where you are going, and where you’ll end up when you cross that bridge? It’s foggy over there, and if you looked the other direction, toward the past, it will be foggy there, too. You think you can see the present clearly, but it’s foggy where you’re standing as well, although it’s not immediately obvious. Just take a few steps, look back and you’ll see it. And you’ll also see a little farther ahead, each step you take. Don’t rely only on your eyes; use your ears and your sense of touch. Listen to the voice inside you. Follow where your heart leads and all will be well. All will be well. All manner of things will be well.

Taken on August 20, 2010

crossing Reversing Falls

The fog is so thick you can barely see across the river. This narrow rocky gorge is where the St. John River rushes and foams into the harbour mouth. These rapids are extremely dangerous, featuring whirlpools, strong currents and sharp rocks… that is, when the river is running downstream. At high tide, the river is overcome by the the sea, which pushes the water back upriver — this is the local phenomenon known as Reversing Falls. You can see how the current runs from left to right, instead of the other way around. The fierce force of river and rapids has been tamed by the tide, but only for a short time.

Taken on August 20, 2010