We are greeted by a thick bank of lake fog every morning, lately. Some times we can’t even see the far side of the lake, it’s so thick. The air is chilly and everything is dripping with dew. By noon, though, the sun has burned off the last wisps and the air is clear and bright.
The rest of the country may be deep in the thrall of autumn; but here in Sunnybrae, my garden is reveling in stolen summer kisses.
In 2012 I did a series of one minute films that I called “one Yukon minute.” The idea was to spend one minute in meditation, looking at a photograph…except it would be a living photograph, with movement and sound. Serene. Tranquil. Something to reflect on and calm the mind. A moving meditation, so to speak.
Taking a moment – even just one minute – to stop and mediate on something beautiful helps to bring balance to our lives. Each film is one minute long. Here are two of my favourites:
Filmed October 7, 2012. Sunset at the Fox Lake house.
One month later, November 10, 2012. The beginning of freeze-up at the Fox Lake house.
Mr. C and I visited the National Art Gallery in Ottawa in 2001, and lucky for us, several Vincent van Gogh paintings were in residence at the time.
Vincent van Gogh’s paintings are breath taking, especially – especially! – in person. If you haven’t stood in front of a van Gogh yet, please put it on your bucket list. It’s worth every effort.
One of the paintings was Wheat Field with Cypresses (below). It was hard to walk away from it.
Did you know that Vincent van Gogh was also a prolific writer? He wrote the most wonderfully descriptive letters.
Here is an excerpt from a letter Vincent van Gogh wrote from Ramsgate, England to his brother Theo van Gogh in Holland, 28th April 1876:
“…Now let me tell you about a walk we took yesterday. It was to an inlet of the sea, and the road to it led through the fields of young wheat and along hedgerows of hawthorn etc. When we got there we had on our left a high, steep wall of sand and stone, as high as a two-storey house, on top of which stood old, gnarled hawthorn bushes. Their black or grey, lichen-covered stems and branches had all been bent to the same side by the wind, also a few elder bushes.
The ground we walked on was completely covered with large grey stones, chalk and shells.
To the right the sea, as calm as a pond, reflecting the delicate grey sky where the sun was setting. It was ebb tide and the water was very low.”
And another, excerpted from a letter written from London, England to his brother to his brother Theo van Gogh in Holland, 30th April, 1874:
“… I walk here as much as I can, but I’m very busy. It’s absolutely beautiful here (even though it’s in the city). There are lilacs and hawthorns and laburnums &c. blossoming in all the gardens, and the chestnut trees are magnificent.
If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. Yet I sometimes yearn so much for Holland, and especially Helvoirt.
I’m doing a lot of gardening and have sown sweet peas, poppies and reseda, now we just have to wait and see what comes of it.
I enjoy the walk from home to the office and in the evening from the office back home. It takes about three-quarters of an hour.
Don McLean wrote his famous song Vincent as a loving tribute. And then the Dr. Who show did a beautiful tribute in two episodes. Later, a brilliant woman named Camille Ibarra put clips of the episodes and the Don McLean song together to produce this beautiful montage:
Dearest Vincent, the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
One year ago today I drove away from Whitehorse, embarking on a solo journey down the Alaska Highway in -30 something temperatures. I stopped along the way to take some photos and jot down some poems. Here is that post.
Day One: Whitehorse to Watson Lake (December 2, 2013)
This is the Alaska Highway:
At 10:45 in the morning my car’s thermometer is pegged at-30: as low as it will go. I do not know how cold it really is, only that it is colder than 30 below. After an hour on the road, there is still ice on the hood of the car and the clutch is still as stiff as tar.
I am driving East, into the rising sun, with everything I own.
When the road ahead is drenched in molten gold I know to raise my hand
in anticipation of being blinded,
until the road slides west and sunrise
outhouse in December someone has left the seat up amber icicles
Driving east, sarah brightman
eases the pie jesu
into the rising sun as brilliant bursts of liquid bronze and gold splash champagne, while shadows
chase the sweetness of the melody across the hillsides.
Telephone poles stretching one after the other, t-braces white with frost, a thousand messiahs
with knees and feet of alabaster and frosty brows bowed down,
connected by living wire, carryingmy whispered voice from christ jesus
to christ jesus to christ jesus
until it reaches your
This is a short video of the road, shot holding the camera on the dash as I drove. It’s beautiful. Click here if you can’t see it.