I love rhubarb. Those vibrant red stalks and shiny green platter size leaves that burst out of the ground in early spring always make me smile. As a child I loved stewed rhubarb, made with rhubarb fresh from the garden. And now I use rhubarb in baking, jams and in my morning oatmeal. My one plant is so prolific I end up freezing some and giving away lots as well. It’s one of the those plants that thrives on neglect once it’s in the right place in the garden, never sulking or asking for preferential treatment. My kind of plant!
I have been knitting, but it’s a stealth project that I can’t show here. But progress I can prove…
There is something so satisfying about ends! Now I am done and can move on to other projects in my list, including another one that I won’t be able to share here at all until it’s gone to its recipient.
Today the sun is shining and I am working out in the garden at last. It feels great, and I’m taking lots of progress pictures to share! But for now I’m sharing photos from yesterday. It was a blustery day and I joined my mum for a walk along the Tsolum River. In between rain showers I took photos of the carpets of wild easter lilies. I love trying to capture all their colours, from the white of first opening to the dark pink of finished blooms. So beautiful.
As I drove home today I watched a bald eagle swoop low over the road as it circled a stand of fir trees. It’s coming up to nesting season and the eagles are playing. Not a day goes by that I don’t see an eagle, either a juvenile getting ready to start out on its own or an adult lazily surveying the land.
Every time I vow to myself that I will never take this gift for granted. That I will always be grateful that we live in this place, where eagles are an everyday occurrence, sea lions cruise our shores and majestic mountains stand sentinel over our land. I read about nature deprivation, and nature classes for children and lives lived in grey and concrete and massive city blocks.
I am fiercely grateful.
As we were leaving a meeting the other night someone said to me, “Kate, you look great these days. Your hair is lovely, you look so healthy. Do you feel different? Do you notice it?”
I looked at her and said, “I’m embracing my 40s.”
It’s the truth. This week I turned 42. I feel great, even if I do have an extra five pounds this decade that I am determined to lose. I love colouring my hair and wearing it long again. I feel more confident in who I am and who I want to be.
I think part of that is Bushboy getting older. I was exhausted in my 30s. That kid didn’t sleep and as a spirited child he quite naturally demanded a lot of my attention both physically and mentally. I didn’t have much of myself to spare for, well, myself. But now he is older and those demands have drastically reduced. I’m looking at my life as mine again. And I’m appreciating it.
I don’t wish I could go back and redo anything, as I believe you are who you need to be at any given time. But I am glad I have found this contentment with myself and this confidence. I like who I am, and feel no need to make apologies anymore. I’m walking lighter these days.
I remember 15. I left private school for a public high school – all at my instigation and with reluctant support from my parents once they realized I couldn’t be swayed. I found a new academic program at a high school across town from where we lived, and arranged for an interview. I took charge.
I met my husband at 15. I met my closest friend at 15.
Bushboy turned 15 this week. My little boy. 15.
And remembering all those things of my life at 15, I am forced to respect that he also knows his mind. That things are now happening in his life that may be in play for the rest of his life. That he is capable of making decisions, as I was, that will shape his directions and intentions.
He is working now, part-time at a coffee shop. He always has been his own person, but he is becoming his own young adult.
Parenting at this age is trickier. It is a lot more of suggesting, of calmly guiding, of listening intently. It is beginning to let go and yet loving and supporting fiercely.
We are at the beginning of a new type of partnership, this boy and I. Exciting, terrifying and exhilarating.
February was an unseasonably mild and dry month here on the coast. I know it’s not necessarily a good thing for a rain forest eco-system, and it could be a symptom of the changing climate, but it’s hard to be upset about it when it feels like April and the sun is shining. I can’t remember a winter here when we’ve had so much sunshine, and it is reflected in people’s moods for sure (the west coast and it’s grey winters are notorious for causing seasonal moodiness).
Winter isn’t over and we are all hesitant to count it out before April as March can be a fickle month. But February was one for the books.
Down in Victoria a few weeks ago Bushboy decided to play with my camera. He was experimenting with my big detachable flash, seeing the difference it made in lighting and exposure. He snapped some photos of me while he was playing and one of them I was quite taken with.
I like that it is slightly out of focus (ah, there’s that word!). I was talking to Mr. Kate and relaxing after a fun day. My feet are almost always curled up when I am sitting, mostly because I can’t touch the ground on most chairs and couches. I am wearing a pair of my knitted socks and my favourite comfy fleece pants. I look relaxed and happy, and I like to see that.
I am usually behind the camera. It means a lot to me to have Bushboy pick up my camera and take a picture of me, and that he captured this moment in time. A short focus of me.
Often my walks are taken right in the neighbourhood. I watch familiar gardens year-round, delighting in the subtle changes as the months go by. Chika sniffs familiar landmarks, noting which dogs have been where and when. I know which way the wind will catch me as I turn a corner. And I know when I turn down the two hills in my loop, that I will see the ocean and then the mountains. And it never fails to make me glad.
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