I Can See Clearly Now, The Smoke Has Gone

This is what we were living with for 11-ish days …

Just before sunset

My phone camera didn’t do the colours justice. The sun was blood-orange red, and the sky a sickly yellow.

Then the wind changed, the temperature dropped below 30°C, and two days later the sky looked like this …

Blue skies, shining above

Unfortunately the air didn’t clear in time for Mrs Widds and I to avoid getting sick, probably that dastardly ‘chitis in our broncs. We did manage to off-set our timing though. Mrs Widds is currently clawing her way out of it and I just collapsed into it. Thankfully we prepared lots of chicken soup.

 

Fire

When the rain stopped, everything grew.

When the rain stayed away, everything dried out.

When the rain didn’t come back, the wildfires started.

 

I am blessed on my island in the middle of a lake in the middle of a rainforest, but I feel the heat in my bones.

The nearest fire colours my twilight in shades of orange and smoke.

 

No-one has died, tens of thousands have left their homes not knowing if they will have homes to return to.

This is my summer.

Ashcroft burning

Photo by Darryl Dyck The Canadian Press

Ashcroft BC

EMEGHERD – Sunshine!

… And look at this …

Here comes the Sun

Here comes the Sun

I haven’t seen that many funny-looking yellow blobs in our weather forecast since the second week in December!!!

S’cuse me, I must hasten away and swoon!

Swooning

Swooning

(Couldn’t find an attribution for this fabulous photograph, but to whoever took it, I say ‘Thank you’)

Dear Carrie, May the 4th Be With You, Always

Because it won’t be the same here without you.

Eine kleine Nacht-Wandering

I was never afraid to go for a walk at night when I was a kid. Sometimes I’d take an old kerosene lantern, but if the moon was up, and it wasn’t too late, off I’d go into the darkness to have adventures. The night air was always full of mysterious noises, tantalizing aromas, and strange sights.

Not from my childhood. Last night – it was raining, of course.

Then I hit puberty and my fear of the night began. Not from any arbitrary awareness of the dark wildness that surrounded the property where we lived though. No, not that at all.

If you’re a woman then you probably have that sinking feeling in your gut that we’ve all experienced because you know what I’m going to write next, or a variation of it. You’ve experienced it too, to greater and lesser degrees.

If you’re a man, then you might suspect, and perhaps have some empathy and compassion, and I hope are actively working to change the culture that’s spawned it.

Back to puberty, and my best friend’s father suddenly starting to take an ‘interest’ in me. He stalked me. Day and night, then not at all until I’d start to have hope, thinking he’d tired of his little ‘game’. But the cycle would begin again.

There went my childhood. I survived it. But the night was never the same.

As a young adult I lived in a big city and learned very quickly where it was safe to walk alone and where it wasn’t, and when it was safe to walk alone and when it wasn’t.

It took me my twenties and goodly portion of my thirties to be able to reclaim the night. (Those ‘Reclaim the Night’ marches back in the 80’s were something to behold, weren’t they? … and if you never got to participate in one, then imagine walking with hundreds and sometimes thousands of women, in the dark, never alone, and with a big grin on your face)

I have my trusty little lantern, (battery powered and USB chargeable) and my walking stick, just in case my knee gets a little squibbely, and off into the night I go. (don’t worry I still have very good radar about where and when it’s safe to walk)

In the night there are always adventures to be had and wondrous sights to be seen. Like this little cedar tree, growing out the top of a fence post.

I have ambitions, I do.

I have ambitions, I do.

***

Here’s the real Eine kleine Nachtmusik, by Anna Maria’s wee lad Wolfie …

Heroes and Villains

In most superhero movies once the hero has moved beyond the second, or sometimes third film in the franchise, he, (it’s almost invariably a ‘he’) has a crisis of conscience. The supporting characters reflect this dilemma in various ways.

One such way is to question the adjacent rise of super villains. In terms of  the story the question is framed thus; the villain arises as a response to the hero, checks and balances, that sort of thing. The hero then has to justify his existence, at least to his own satisfaction, and carry on doing superhero-y things.

But in our world the villains have and are always there.

Of course superheros, and villains, are one of the great allegories for What Lies Within; our human capacity for choosing behaviors and actions that hurt and/or support our Selves and others.

Anyone who spends any time on this blog will know that I enjoy a good superhero movie. (who’d’a thunk!) I love watching the spectacle, the ‘splosions, the fantasy, that CGI can create. (it also helps if there’s a decent story, good direction and acting, etc, but if the effects are good, I’ll muddle through the rest) It’s a much more satisfying way to defeat the villain than small ordinary successes of our ordinary lives.

There are days when I don’t want to do those ordinary tasks that enable me to survive and thrive on this planet. Some days I just want to watch an impossible dream come true, even if it is only a celluloid dream. (yeah, I know, no-one uses celluloid anymore)

And afterwards, the storm of my rebellion cleared away, I find myself inspired to attend to the rituals of my life with a bit more of a smile than I had before.

The Hero of What Lies Within

Menstruation Blues

This morning I was sitting up in bed with a pot of tea and a hot water bottle, because I’m menstruating, for the first time in five years.

I’m supposed to be POST menopausal. I have the hairs to prove it.

You ever wonder where the hairs on your legs go as you age? I know where. Ears, chin, and one very fine one that pops up in a different part of your body immediately after you eliminate it from somewhere else. Apparently this is normal.

Also ‘normal’ is menstruating like this … unless it ‘continues’.

How the hell does one define which side of the ‘continues’ continuum one is on?

Is it the number of tampons one goes through in a day? Which incidentally I don’t recommend using (after a five year break) without some sort of preparation. (the details of which I won’t go into here because even for a post as ‘menstrual-y’ as this one, that might be just too much information)

Is it a compilation of the kinds of emotional meltdowns one can go through into a single hour? Perhaps calibrated to the number of hankies one uses?

Or the intensity of cramps? Which sucked when I was 15, sucked when I was 35, and damn me if they don’t still suck at 58!

**pours Self another cup of tea, whimpers at Mrs Widds for another hot water bottle, and slides further under the covers**

I’m consigning the rest of today to the ‘hell-and-gone’ basket, and …

**looks our the window with a pale and wan melancholia**

…well … would you look at that? It’s raining … again …

**

‘Menstruation Blues’ is the title of a song by Robyn Archer. If you’ve never heard of her, go check her out. (who could resist such a cheeky grin?)

**

There are so many sad (and melancholic) songs about rain, and I couldn’t go past my favourite diva of all time … the Divine Miss M