Whew! it has been busy days here on the island. In February we had our first real snow of any amount and boy did it snow! For three days it came down and all we did was shovel! The nice thing about snow here is that every one helps every one else. So we had lots of company on the sidewalk and the driveway and then we moved around the neighborhood helping other people shovel theirs. Community ! I love it!
We also saw our first herring run and was it something to see! The run lasts only for a week or so, but it brings with it hundreds of birds, sea lions, seals, blue herons and of course my favorite...eagles.
I had never seen so many sea gulls and eagles in one spot in my entire life! I was mesmerized by them.
To see so many of these huge birds in the air at one time all scouring the water for fish was just beautiful. It also made me realize just how many fish must be out there as these big birds need a lot of food to survive and to have so many in one spot means there is a lot of food around.
We also had some really good news at the end of January. As most of you know I have been struggling with metastatic breast cancer for the last four years. In the late fall of 2013 I was having some problems with my lungs and so my oncologist decided it was time to do a full CT scan of my body and look for signs of metastasis. I am very happy to say that they can find no visible indication of any cancerous tumors anywhere in my body at this time and I am hopeful they never will. I have another eight months of cancer treatment and then I should be able to have only once yearly check ups. The problem with my lungs turned out to be some damage done with the radiation which has increased my sensitivity to my environment. Here in the valley many people burn wood fireplaces and stoves including ourselves. However we have now installed a heat pump and new gas furnace along with an air purifier and that seems to have taken care of the problem.
Spring is arriving and signs of that are everywhere here on the island. the flowers are popping up and the grass is getting greener and longer. Unfortunately so are the weeds!! I have been spending some time out in the flower beds this week plucking weeds and there does not seem to be any end to them.
We have had a lot of company since January and in fact have company coming every month till the end of June. People love to get a tour of the island one of their favorite places is the barge with the sea lions in Fanny Bay. Their barking can be heard long before you get out of your car and make your way down the dock. For some reason every one , including myself, love to watch the antics of these clowns of the ocean. Fanny Bay is famous for it's oysters and I always try to get a large carton and have an oyster fry for people. Nothing like the taste of fresh oysters.
Fred and I have also done some exploring on our own and discovered a beautiful gem just outside of Bowser. It is a place called Deep Bay and the view of the mountains and water is just lovely.
And if all of this is not enough to keep us happy and busy there is always deer watching.
Two weeks ago the Valley was covered in sea fog for about three days. It was lovely, but difficult to take photos . A friend of ours came from the mainland to stay with us for the weekend and as he and I love to take photos we spent almost all our time trying to get some clear shots. I think he did much better than I, but here are the Trumpeter swans on the estuary.
We have had several days of hard rain here on the island. It is the most
I have seen since I arrived here July 24th. Finally the ski hill on Mt.
Washington, a half hour away, has enough snow to open for the season, but I don't ski so
that is not a comfort for me. On Saturday I was tired of puttering around the house waiting for the rain to let up and decided to just go to the beach anyhow. After all Miss Lucy loves the beach rain, snow or wind and she was missing her beach time. We usually go to Point Holmes, but I decided that I would leave early and drive about 25 minutes farther north to a place called Salmon Point. It is a very exposed stretch of beach with few people around at this time of year. By the time we got there the rain and wind had ceased and the temperature was fairly warm. As we started down the beach I was shocked by how much driftwood had piled up from the storms that had gone through during the last few days. Then as I looked around I was delighted to find that those strong currents had also brought heaps and I do mean HEAPS of the shells that I love to collect and polish. Where the usual shell collection on a normal day is a couple of handfuls this is what we collected on this beach walk!
A basket full!!
It turned out to be a great walk and a beautiful night there.
The more time I spend on this island the more I realize it is a little piece of paradise and I thank the universe for placing me in this lovely spot.
Trumpeter Swan on the Estuary
Well it is another year again. Every year I am amazed how fast the previous year seems to have gone and I always ask myself what I have learned from the year or what I contributed to the year.
This past year I learned that I need to have a great deal more patience with things. I tend to want to see change quickly and get frustrated when I do not. This year I plan to try and enjoy the waiting as much as the accomplishing... tall order.
As for my contribution....really not sure that I contributed a whole lot this year other than elbow grease, but sometimes that is what is needed.
This past week we attended a talk at the I-Hos native band hall in Comox. Here in the valley, I sense that the Komoks band contributes and influences a great deal that happens in the Valley. I had met a few people who work at the gallery and was impressed so when the opportunity arose hear about The Seven Sacred Virtues Anishnabe Bimaadiziwin - The Good Life from an elder I was delighted and I was not disappointed.
It was a nice to start the year thinking about these virtues and I thought that it was something of value to share with you for the beginning of the new year. It sparked for me some reflection on my life and how I would like to live it. I hope that it sparks some inner reflection for you as well.
We begin in the East- Humility - Dibaadeniaowin Eagle Migisi
Look to the Rising Sun each day and feel the power of Creation and the Great Mystery. Accept that you are part of this circle and be of service to humanity and all of creation.
In the South we have Honesty- Gwekowaadiziwin Deer Wawashkeshshii
Look at yourself and accept the gifts that have been placed within you. Understand that this life is but one part of your journey
In the West we have Respect - Manaaditowanim Bear Makawa
When we awaken each morning we practice respect by acknowledging our safe passage through the night and that our life is a gift. We are grateful to all living things for the sacrifices they make to give us our life.
In the North we have Wisdom Nibwaakaawin Buffalo Muskadayn Bishikee
We practice courage by learning from the many teachers that come into our lives. As we learn we arrive at a place of inner courage to heal all that is within us.
We journey to Father Sky Courage Aakodewim Hummingbird Nenookaasi
As we look to the stars we can begin to practice wisdom when we accept that our ancestors have come before us and that they walk with us in every way.
We look to Mother Earth Truth Debwewin Turtle Mikwaadesii
We look to Mother Earth and she represents truth. Through her purity of being and the endless energy and renewal she provides to us.
We look to the centre and we find Love Zaagidiwin Wolf Maeegun
When we love ourselves we find the good life. Then we can extend that love outwards like a golden thread that brings together all of the sacred teachings into a sacred circle to guide our life.