the snow arrives

snow scene

We had a green Christmas. The sun shone, the roads were bare and the temperature was mild. Although I was hoping for snow, I admit that it couldn’t have been a better day.

Then, late on Boxing Day, a Nor’easter blew up along the coast and dumped a pile of snow and some rain through the Maritimes. As I write this, a blustery wind is shaking the trees and blowing last night’s fresh snow into sharp-peaked drifts. The landscape has completely changed. My shoulder and back muscles are still sore from shovelling snow yesterday, and I know there will more shovelling to do today.

Welcome back, winter.

Photo taken on December 27, 2010

night running

The universe doesn’t always unfold as it should… or at least not from my admittedly limited human perspective. Sometimes it seems like I’m always running uphill, missing the boat, swimming against the tide.

Take last night, for instance. I had been wanting to get outside for some fresh air and photographs all day, but when I finally grabbed my camera, it was getting dark. I went out anyway, because there was still some light in the sky and the clouds were interesting, but I only took a few photos before my hands started to freeze from the cold wind. I decided to take a nice hot shower, and discovered I had a big scrape on my leg (when? where? who knows?). When I stepped out of the show, all relaxed, there was a huge spider in the middle of my clothes pile. (Did I say HUGE?) Thankfully, LB came to my rescue. Then, after settling into a nice sleep, why was I wide awake at 3:30 am, and I’m pretty sure those weren’t sugar plums dancing around my head.

So, I have a few things on my mind. Besides my increasing concern over not yet finding a job, there’s a growing job list for the house, a half-started project my father is waiting patiently for me to complete, and the huge Thanksgiving feast that we need to plan and prepare for Sunday. Still, I know in a few days, a few months, a few years, I’ll look back and all this will seem but a tiny blip on the radar map of my life.

But for now, there’s much to do… must run!

And to all my Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

Taken on October 7, 2010

rose-coloured

They say that you have to dream something to make it real. That you need dreams to have a future. That through dreaming you can overcome difficulties and work your way around psychological obstacles.

Yet you’ve also been told that dreamers are not doers, that dreaming doesn’t make it true, and dreams are the opposite of reality. I don’t believe it.

Maybe I was born with rose-coloured glasses, maybe it’s just that I’m an optimist, but I’ve always thought that — for most things — if I can dream it, I can do it. I’m not talking about fantasy; I’m talking about dreams, about having vision and seeing the paths that might open up to you around the corner. When you dream, you see not only your potential, but what you truly want, and who you truly are. And let’s face it, reality can be pretty grim unless you know how to dream, unless you know that it is possible (yes it is) for your dreams to come true.

Taken on May 24, 2009

missing the beach

I didn’t get to the beach this summer. We could have packed a picnic lunch and the dogs and some toys and found a sandy spot to sit and enjoy the sun and the sea. There were some glorious summer days, and we did had time to spare. We had time to putter out in the garden, except for a few days when it was too hot to do much of anything at all. But the time slipped away.

Now that summer is at an end, I’m beginning to remember what it’s like to be cold and to have to wear multiple warm layers whenever I go outside. I’m beginning to see the calendar fill up and the busy days that lie ahead. And I’m beginning to think I should have gone to the beach, at least once.

Taken on August 23, 2010

when time stands still

Why are we fascinated by desert islands? I know it’s a popular writers’ theme, allowing for a wide variety of plot twists and outcomes, from good (“Treasure Island”) and bad (“Lord of the Flies”) to silly (“Gilligan’s Island”) and bizarre (“Lost”). But I’m sure the desert island appeal goes deeper than the role of adventure playground. Desert islands also turn up in personality profile questionnaires, such as “what would you like to have with you on a desert island?” Perhaps this hints closer to the truth.

How many of us have stood on a beach, mesmerized by the ceaseless motion of the waves, and felt that time is standing still? Imagine being on a tropical beach with no abrupt change of seasons to remind you of the passing of time. And if you suspend time and live only from day to day, enjoying each moment as it happens — and of course have your basic physical needs provided — then you would have no worries, no stress. It’s an attractive fantasy, as old as the Garden of Eden. But I think the old TV show “Fantasy Island” had it right: you can dream for a while, to be refreshed and learn something important about yourself, but then it’s time to wake up, to leave the island and make the most of your life.

Taken on April 29, 2010

Main Street

This wide street was once lined with houses and businesses. It begins where the river ferry once docked at Indian Town and heads in a beeline for the uptown core, connecting the city’s North End and its South End. In the 1970s, when huge population and economic growth was predicted for Saint John, the city widened the old street to allow for the increased traffic. Now it’s not a destination but a thoroughfare. Instead of connecting the North End, Main Street now isolates it. This six-lane road and the nearby highway have carved a moat between the North End and the central city. No wonder the newly created Harbour Passage walkway around the harbour has become so important — it’s the only walking route into the uptown which doesn’t require pedestrians to travel via a dusty and noisy concrete-and-car desert.

Taken on August 26, 2010

the house on the bluff

Living here, perched on the edge of the bluff, you can watch the sea coming and going all day. You can watch the container ships, the tankers, the fishing boats and cruise ships following the tide in and out of the harbour. You can watch the harbour seals and porpoises, the gulls and eagles trolling the shallow shores. You can watch everything that moves all the way to Nova Scotia on fine days, but on foggy days you might not even see the beach. And every kind of weather, be it rain or sun, snow or storm, will beat against your windows. And as the tide rises and falls and marks the rhythm of the days and seasons, you will be always be there, watching.

Taken on April 29, 2010