Thursday, September 18, 2008

where everybody knows your name

Duncan has been called many names, "drunken' Duncan" and "dumpy Duncan" and my favorite "Why would you want to live in Duncan?" And then there are the people that say, "There is nothing good about Duncan." Well, tonight while I was at the Fall Harvest Festival with my family, I realised that those people who don't love this town like I do, are the very ones who are never at these great events.

Tonight, I couldn't handle being a culinary genius for yet another night, so I rallied my family and took us out to the festival. There was a guy playing guitar and singing, a big barbecue (all local food of course complete with homemade blackberry/rhubarb pie with chocolate ice cream for $2.50), farmers from the valley selling their beautiful vegetables, honey and wool, kids running around laughing and families having a great time. Our boy even got to stand on an old farm pickup circa 1939 and peer through the windows.

I also saw lots of familiar faces. Mums and dads from my son's school, my favorite farmers who I talk to every Saturday at the farmer's market, Marv (my favorite wood chair guy who has to be one of the nicest people in this valley), our local midwives with their families and the guitar player who has a knack for making my girl's toes tap. People are so friendly here, and it is such a great feeling to be a part of a community like this. This is a place where people remember your name and each time you see them at an event, on the street, in the grocery store, they treat you like an old friend.

We had a great dinner, bought some beautiful vegetables, saw some friends and realised that for anyone who still thinks this town is just drunken', they need to come out to events like these, this town is amazing and I am so happy to live here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

nature calms

I think I've mentioned before that my son, in his four year old glory is going through a challenging time. It is the age of the will, his not mine. Yesterday we knew it was going to be a hard day, right from when he came into our room and woke up the baby. It was a morning of struggle. Struggle to get him dressed, struggle to get him to eat, struggle for him to listen....struggle. There were time outs, tears, even the slamming of a door, by lunch time, I knew we had to get out.

We left for the beach with buckets in hand. The transformation was amazing, suddenly our son who had been struggling all day was calm, quiet and happy. As he looked for sand dollars, I breathed in the moment of peace that I had so longed for all day. My daughter who had been screaming in the car because she was hungry and we in our divine wisdom who forgot to bring any food for her, sat quietly with me and breastfed. Thank God for breastmilk, food that's always there, even when you forget the rice cakes!

The rest of the day was spent picking blackberries, playing at a playground, watching my boy climb over a fence to run into a farm to say hi to the cows, watching my daughter stand up, on her own for the very first time and an amazing meal at Merridale Cidery (they have pizza night on Sundays. We ate on the deck, the kids were fantastic and I felt a world away).

There is something so calming about the power of nature, the quiet in the sound of the waves, the song of the bird, the satisfying comfort of breastmilk. The power in watching our children mirror the stillness and calm of the natural world around them. What a gift.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

river day

Now that the boy is in Kindergarten (how this happened I have no idea, wasn't I just taking him to parent and tot?) I decided that the one day in the week that he is not in school should be a quiet home day, or at least a nature day. So after a bike ride to the farm store and some lunch, I packed up both kids and went to the river. This is one of the things that I love best about living here, that my children and I can just truly be in nature and they can explore their world around them and be free to throw a rock if they like.

As I was watching my son play in the river, sending leaf boats down a canal some other children had made and left behind, I had this moment of sincere contentment. It didn't matter that dinner needed to be made or that I had a list as long as my arm of chores that needed doing or work that needed completing. It was such a gift, that on a Monday afternoon, I had no where better to be than at the river with my children.

I can get so caught up in all that needs doing in life that sometimes I need reminding that just doing nothing is as important as doing everything. Now that the boy is in Kindergarten, I am reminded all the more to just be here right now, because before you know it they grow up faster than you want them to. Days like this at the river, with my two children and the ravens overhead are those moments when he is 20 I will look back on and be so glad I ignored the chores and just hung out with my kids.