Back to Reality

The line “back to life, back to reality” from Soul II Soul has been running through my mind these past few days. My time away from the city is coming to an end and I’ve mixed feelings about it all.

I’m going to miss plucking ripe plums directly from the tree; plums so ripe you can suck the entire plum through the hole left when you pull out the stem. There are sticky spots on the sundeck from when there was just too much juice to handle and it ran down my chin and chest, dripping to the deck. It’s invigorating to eat a juicy, sun-warmed plum with reckless abandon.

I know I’ll miss my conversations with the Morning Dove. One sultry evening a dove landed on the power line and started “who whoing” at me, so I “who whoed” back. We carried on in that fashion for a good 10 minutes before I went inside to prep some dinner. I have no idea what we chatted about, but it was meaningful enough that the dove came back every evening after that to chat with me. One evening I missed our “chat date” as I was in the shower. My friend who was here for the weekend called out to me, “You’re dove’s here. You better hurry; he’s calling for you.” It warmed my heart. Sometimes all it takes to make me happy is conscious recognition from a fellow animal.

I think I’ll even miss the Stellar’s Jays mockery. A few days ago I accidentally mooned the neighbourhood while I was taking out the trash. The Jays in the Arbutus tree started shrieking when my pale moons crested the horizon. What I won’t miss is their mischievous curiosity. Well, to be more specific, when that curiosity lures one of them inside the house. Want a really good 30 minute work out? Try herding a Stellar’s Jay out of your home.

I’m going to miss the sound of the wind rushing up the side of the mountain from the ocean at 2am. In the dead of night, the wind carries the sound of the ocean waves crashing to shore. Standing on the deck, I let the wind off the Salish Sea blow right through me; ferreting out all the murky cobwebs in my mind.

I already miss the garden and I’m not quite gone yet. Vegetable gardens have a way of reminding you that it’s important to keep things simple; to keep life simple.

I’ll miss the hummingbirds. It took a few days of observation to realize they have a complex social structure and they’re fiercely protective of the feeder. These are the things I pay attention to when all I have is time and quiet. What I love most about the hummingbirds is that you can hear them flying; cutting through the air with their 80 beats per second wings.

I’ll miss the mama bear and her two cubs, the deer and even the bold-faced raccoon family that got into mischief on an almost daily basis. Those raccoons are insolent little buggers, but I love ’em so.

And the stars. I’ll miss the stars. The way the Milky Way warms up through the night fills me up inside and reminds me of how little I see in the city. I like getting lost in the night sky; gazing upwards and relishing in how small I feel.

To view more of my photos of the Sunshine Coast over the years, click here.