coming home

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i have begun the new dual life of half-time living on the wee dream island and half-time in nanaimo. surprising to me, i am really loving it. for one it helps to love your job, for sure. i am in nanaimo for this week working, and it is just beautyfull here. as i’ve written before, i didn’t feel this way 13 years ago when i was last living on the coast. the last place i wanted to go was the city – any city – even one that is considered more of a small town by its inhabitants. but after the prairies, i am just continuing to revel in these views and this terrain. yesterday out over the water and hovering over the mountains were thick moist tatters and filaments of cloud. the water in the bay was still, reflecting outlying islands and their dense forests of fir and cedar. everything the colour of silver and grey and deep greens and blues. my eyes feast daily.

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the two main benefits of living here part-time are that i can bike to work (!!!!) and it gives me a break from the long days of homesteading. on the wee-island, i go go go. there is always so much to do, and being partly that i love doing it, but also that it needs to be done, i don’t take many breaks. i go until it’s too dark to work and do it again the next day. i am not always so good at moderation. it is true though that it is partly because it’s the beginning and i am just getting set up. the cisterns need to go up NOW if i want to have water. the solar needs to get expanded and moved to sunnier ground if i want to power the bigger tools. the shower needs to get set-up if i want to be clean and feel presentable! once those basics are done it (probably?) won’t be so go go go. so as a result, when i come here to work, i get rest-time. all the spare time when the work-day is done, i get to do whatever i want! this week so far i have gone to see ‘maudie’, a film about the artist maud lewis, with my aunt and roommate/landlord (who is also my aunts good friend), written two posts for the blog, and started making the next film! which was hugely inspired by watching maudie. so i am terribly excited about that. but also, i am BIKING more, and this town is sooooo good for biking! there are trails everywhere! i was grinning so hugely on my ride home from work yesterday that i might have frightened, or at least surprised, some of the trail users. i was thinking how it feels like coming home when you do something you know and love so well, after some time of not doing it. that is what it feels like when i get on my bike with that first stroke of the pedal, or enter a canoe, push off from shore and slice that paddle through the water, or, as i discovered yesterday, start putting a new film together – the marrying of movement with music.

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i haven’t been taking pictures since being here, as i have been too busy doing all of the above, but i HAVE been reflecting lately on the road-trip i took in 2014 down the california/oregon coastline and into the desert states, then on back to winnipeg. the most interesting memories surface from that trip and stick with me. the small town in utah with a health-food store closing for the season, the largest pine cone i have ever seen (over 14″ long i’d say) in a jar on the shelf, and a lemon energy bar i bought on discount, that turned out to be mouldy. sitting in the parking lot of mcdonalds in sweltering southern california, poaching internet, then driving through the endless desert farm lands, passing irrigation ditch after irrigation ditch. being the only one camped in the cottonwood cove campground, on lake mojave/colorado river, las vegas about 80km away and the light on the horizon so bright. i left as early as i could manage the next morning, so i wouldn’t have to pay. the red rock of zion staining the black highway a dusty plum. the health-food store in portland selling SO many flavours of lara bar i had never seen before and haven’t seen since. listening to a book-on-tape, driving fast through the wide expanse of wyoming. the teeming sea of stars and crimson night sky over the badlands of south dakota.

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