Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.

It got cold… Not just that barely above freezing - cold to the bone dampness created by a perpetual drizzle soaked mist that edges on downright flood of cold water.  But the deep freeze temperatures where the snow is like sparkling fairy dust that twinkles in the air and you don’t even consider dragging your garbage can to the curb without down jacket, mitts and toque.  (no more of the “ I’ll just run out in my nightgown and hope no one notices”).  As the temperatures plummeted and wrapping a baby in enough layers to triple his size made leaving the house an onerous task - the community carried out it’s cold business as usual.   

But now it’s warmed up.  With the warming of temperatures business as usual seems to have become more difficult.  We are back to that not quite above freezing but still melting, although not melting fast enough, muddy slush filled nastiness that no one can even pretend to like.  

The drains are plugged and so the waters pool brown and slushy in the low points, the ensuing lakes spray grime and salt far and wide and unwary pedestrians beware!  Washer fluid just smears the grime on your windshield, and big clods of snow gather behind the tires and on inner wheel wells on vehicles.  (Urban dictionary refers to these as Snowberries) The little sporty cars slide around in that rock salt and road grime slipping and swerving dangerously in the sludge only to hit one of those muddy lakes and hydroplane alongside melting lumps of dirty slush like icebergs in a tsunami.  Yuck.

But if dangerous road conditions, and nasty sludge (which makes me cringe thinking about my next dog walking endeavour)  were not enough  half of town it seems is suffering from burst pipes.  The bank, the grocery store, homes, and businesses alike all drowning in more water.  As if life up here were not wet enough.  (Home maintenance is really all about keeping water in or out of where it should and should not be.)  

We did turn off the water to the outdoor taps. But the question remains… when I go to turn them on again…. Will I fill the wall up with water?  Or will all work as it’s supposed to?  And will I have a filthy wet dog covered in all the muck and grime of every puddle along the way to wash off when I find out? 

And just in case you are wondering… this is what I pulled off the easel this week: 

“When Snow Came Falling”
Original Watercolour

© RiverWalker Arts

Monday, January 16, 2012

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.

The sun came out, but first it snowed.  
Clearing Skies
©RiverWalker Arts

In the grey north, on this little island where it rains and rains and rains, where water never ceases to fall and the appearance of the sun is a sign for celebration,  the temperature dipped.  It dipped just that last few degrees plunging us into the realm of snow… and so for a brief time the rain froze and the snow began to pile up. 

It was early morning when the children donned their snow suits and grabbed anything that looked like it might work as a sled and headed outside.  By noon the skies were clearing and the sun began to emerge from behind the mountain that marks the center of this tiny island.  With the flourish of sunshine people came flooding from their homes.  I saw children sledding, building snowmen, laughing and pouring out of the door at the public  library.  Mothers pushing strollers chatted at the park and looked on fondly as children played.  The swing sets which normally hang limp and sodden and covered in algae and moss suddenly found life and the world rang with laughter. 

Harbour Vista
©RiverWalker Arts
Somehow the light managed to arrive and wrought the most amazing change on this community.  I was awestruck.  A little snow?  Sure.. but what a change the sun could bring, and all that reflected light off all that white snow and suddenly everyone was outside – it made no difference if it was cold, or that the snow was heavy and wet but light had finally filtered through into this dark place.  It can be said that no one here takes the sun for granted…

I have found hope in the winter….   

Thursday, January 12, 2012

think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's

And that was 2011.
A big year. But then they are all big  -  365 days of jam-packed action adventure.  2012 will be no exception… on the horizon is an astounding year of watching my Chicken Little grow from his four month old babbling self into a fully mobile and communicative toddler.. and  the failure of all my best laid New Year’s Resolutions (you know the ones we make every year… and never keep – I am going to lose ten pounds, I’m going to exercise more, I am going to eat healthier,  I am going to spend less, save more and pay off my debt, I’m going to learn to knit/speak Spanish/surf/play the guitar/master the art of Thai cooking….you name it.  By February I’ll have decided that Spanish is too hard to pronounce.  Guitar takes too much practice. Ordering out is just so much easier than cooking. I'll do it ... when I have more time…ya right!!)
To give myself credit I’m not sitting around doing nothing but navel gazing.  Although I do have times where my whole day revolves around nothing more pressing than a tot swim lesson… and that folks is a pretty good life!   Eating up my time (in addition to Chicken Little) is a host of volunteer work, including sitting as a director on the local Arts Council.  As far as volunteer work goes.. I like this gig.  People appreciate any ideas or work that I can contribute and I feel like I can make a difference in the community.  The latest project… the Creative Jam. From the realms of Photography, Music, Visual Art and Creative Writing, four facilitators will guide individuals and groups through a process of learning through active creativity in that most dark and dreary of months… February!   We’ve managed to keep the registration fee to a token amount  $40 adult / $30 student & seniors  (plus $5 supply fee if registering for visual arts). For a full weekend workshop that is truly a steal.

I thought I would share… hot off the presses… the poster for the 2nd annual Creative Jam