Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Where 100,000 Will Take You

I enjoy driving. I am my father's daughter in this regard, traversing whatever kilometres I must to get where I want to go. When I'm not commuting to and from work, I'd say the majority of my driving is to either visit the people I care most about, or to explore somewhere with my camera.

So is it any wonder that after four years of moving to and from these places with my current car (a Dodge Dart named Tom), he would hit his 100,000km mark on a road in rural Saskatchewan... a trip he has made many times to keep me connected to some of my favourite people.

Within Edmonton, I must admit that Tom and I have... struggled... to get along with the city streets.* But--we have always enjoyed the open road together. It is interesting where different seasons of our lives take us. My Honda went everywhere. Mountains, ocean, foothills, prairie--she even crossed into the United States more than once. To be fair, I owned Aubergine twice as long as I've currently owned Tom. That being said, thus far, Tom has only had a taste of the mountains and foothills, he's never been to the ocean, nor has he crossed any international borders.

But the prairie.


Tom is a prairie expert.

The view at 100,000km.

Under the ever-wide sky, we have explored the green and yellow patchwork of summer fields, as well as the white blankets of winter. We have stopped to take in unexpected delights, and we never hesitate to pull over for a good sunset. In the dark of winter, thousands of songs, a hundred podcasts, and several audio books have helped to pass the time.

All so that I can access the pieces of my heart that I have scattered abroad.

Tom's knees are starting to creak, his face is pock-marked by gravel and dust, and his interior is in desperate need of a bath. ...I've put him through a lot in four years.

At 25,000km per year, I am hoping he and I can enjoy at least another four together, and I am curious to see which directions our ambitions take us.

There is so much yet to explore.

* But if you need to find a pothole, a nail, or a piece of wayward rebar, I'm your gal.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SOTC 246/365

Many Monks (SOT 246/365)

SOTC 245/365

I have no shame in bribing birds with food to get them closer to my camera.

Noticed (SOTC 245/365)

Monday, July 10, 2017

SOTC 244/365

Magpies are jerks. They are noisy pilferers and bullies. Several of them roost in my neighbourhood. If I am working in the garden and suddenly hear a bunch of magpies squawking, I know that somewhere on the street, a dog or cat (likely my own) is being taunted.

Late last night, I heard quite a ruckus of noise, louder than usual; what are they taunting now?

I was shocked and angered to see 8-10 magpies squawking and pecking at a baby bird in the street. My heart took over--natural selection be damned; baby birds don't deserve to be bullied!

My presence scattered the magpies, and I managed to scoop up the bird--a baby blue jay. I wasn't sure if he was injured, and I wasn't sure how long the magpies would linger, so I opted to house him for the night.

This morning I spotted the adult jays in my front yard, and another fledgling on the neighbour's lawn. Assuming this must be his family, I was happy to release him*... but not without attempting a few pictures first, of course.

The adult jays sure vocalized their opinion about me being so close to their young, but baby blue jay clearly had a sense that I had treated him well, because he stuck around on the grass just long enough to let me photograph and pet both him and his sibling one last time.

Baby Blue Jay (SOTC 244/365)

Stay clear of the magpies, my feathered friends.

* I had considered taking him to Edmonton's wildlife rehabilitation centre if his parents didn't come back for him.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Out to the Very Edge

I come down the shadowed trail
and into the clearing.
The sky and my lungs open in tandem.

The view is breathtaking even from the trail--
still, it beckons me forward.

You want the best I have to offer?
Come out to the very edge.

Precarious and BraveIt is a thin space between the edge
and the place where gravity reminds you
how unforgiving it is.

The edge deserves my respect;
requires confidence with care.

Calculated steps.

My heart beats a touch faster.
I move from standing to crouching,
tightening my centre of gravity,
hands and feet now moving
over the rough stone

Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating

Towards the precipice
I gingerly sit myself down,
bring my legs out in front of me--

And I am above the traffic,
above the river;
above even most birds
busy breakfasting in the trees.

Come out to the very edge;
see the best I have to offer;

The wind swirls around me
my heartbeat settles

I remember that
I accepted the invitation into this moment
and this space

And it is from here that
I can take in the clarity of the landscape before me
and the bright light
of a new day.

From Where I Sit

Monday, July 3, 2017