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Posts Tagged ‘reflect’

I close my eyes and I can see a world that’s waiting up for me that I call my own ……

The rain was endless and it filled our stream alongside the house. The deep vibration of the water pounded on the river rocks. I peered down into my garden and reflected on the hours of contentment my summer garden had provided. I reminded myself that I had to be patient as there was still a winter to endure. It was time to enjoy the Christmas lights that twinkled up from the garden. The tiny soft white bulbs softened the harshness of the bare plants and provided a contrast to the bright green cedar trees.  It is a source of such comfort to look down on that bit of sparkle when you are held up indoors for days on end. But this morning was different…..the rain had eventually stopped. It was time to get outside.

Our first snow…..

A vision of the one I see…..

The first stop was a morning latte and croissant at my favourite haunt. It is a cosy bakery and it is filled with Christmas ambiance.  This obviously has an effect on the patrons as a young boy leaned across at his dad and sang into his ear. “You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.” The conversation then ensued between dad and son was what Santa might be delivering down the chimney that year. The debatable question was how ‘naughty or nice’ he had been throughout the year. This private exchange that I had eavesdropped on really brought home some of the magic of Christmas.

A touch of Christmas….

We can live in a world that we design……

It is the time when the ‘little girl’ in me is ever present. Memories of childhood African Christmases abound. Although so different in many ways, the spirit was the same. It was a time to rejoice in our family and friends. So many of those traditions have continued. Instead of bright African sun warming us as we gathered around our braai outside, we huddle around a crackling fire with the snow covered mountain tops in the distance. We still eat the turkey but instead of salads we have roasted sweet potato. This year the turkey will be cooked outside, very slowly on our barbeque. Some things don’t change! For my own sanity I try to spice things up in the culinary department. Only to be told by the family that they want the ‘tried and tested’ recipes. Not sure what that is supposed to tell me. It does not dampen the spirit…… I rush around and collect greenery from my garden and a nearby forest. Decorations are brought up from the storeroom and deliberated over for the right effect. The Christmas tree is up and the twins have added the finishing touches. It is time to reflect on the season.

The twins add their final touch to the tree.

But it feels like home…..

This year I have tried to be mindful and to keep things natural and simple. I am so grateful for the wealth of nature that surrounds me ……even though it is sodden with rain!  I find such joy in preparing my home for my family and friends. This lead up to Christmas and the anticipation of the whole family sleeping under our roof, keeps me inspired.

May your Christmas be filled with special moments with the people that you love.

 

 

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Sitting in the morning sun……

Sun, glorious sun has finally arrived here on the West Coast! We have had continuous sunshine for over 2 weeks! We revel in it and the excitement is tangible. Everyone is outside. I soak up every opportunity to feel the warmth on my back. There is nothing better than a morning stroll along the boardwalk at the seafront. I watch the sea traffic out in the bay…..laden tankers, sleek yachts and majestic ocean liners. They glide by through the first narrows of the Burrard Inlet. Cheeky seaplanes swoop overhead and make their presence felt too. I have almost…..not entirely…forgiven Vancouver for the awful winter that we experienced this last year.

Watching the ships roll by….

Today was to be a different experience as I fancied to get closer to the water. I pulled my dusty bicycle out of storage and donned my ravishing helmet. The descent from our house is long and steep so I decided to NOT test the quality of my brakes. On the North Shore I jumped on the ferry.  My helmet irritated me as I hate the ‘hat- hair’ that it gives me. But this was definitely something that I was going to have to conform to. I tried to appear nonchalant, as if I done this many times before. But I stuck out like a sore thumb with my European Stroller with the basket on the front……in retrospect I am sure no one even noticed me! I must add that the cyclists I encountered that day had either rugged or very sleek bikes along with the most up to date bike attire. This was obviously a very serious sport!

On the seawall at Stanley Park

“You are being ridiculous!” I chastised myself and turned my attention to the view from the ferry across the bay.

It took me 2 hours to get from the city around Stanley Park and back with a few pit stops along the route. The pathway followed the seawall for most of the way. There were plenty of other bikers as this was obviously a favourite outride.

“On your left.” The cyclists shouted as they appeared from behind me. This unnerved me at first but I soon became accustomed to the ‘rules of the road.’ It was heavenly to breathe in the fresh sea air and to feel the cool breeze on my face. The bay was a hive of activity. I had to concentrate on where I was going as I was distracted by all the sea traffic.

The noon horn blew and it was time to stop for lunch. I sat at a sidewalk café with a wonderful vista over the yacht club. It was a sensory overload with some people watching thrown in for good measure.

Two thousand miles I roam just to make this dock my home….

There are times when I have to pinch myself. Where am I living? Yes, I am in Vancouver. During these times I reflect back on my life back in South Africa……for a minute on that seawall, I was racing down the hill from the Lonehill Koppie down to my school. But I return to reality…..

“It is time to head home.” My new Canadian friend had kept a watchful eye over this newbie on her bike adventure into the city. Thanks for showing me ropes! Little did I know there would be more to learn. I still needed to work out how to get my bike from the ferry onto the front of the bus. I was not about to attempt the hill ride up to our house.

There were limits to these exploits!

My bike has a new experience too……

 

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It takes quite a bit to shut me up, so I am told, but there are times when I grow quiet and just sit alone with my thoughts. As it is Mother’s Day coming up, allow me to indulge myself and to think aloud about my 3 sons.…..

These three boys, who are genetically from the same parents, are so different. They have inherited so many wonderful traits from their dad but today I am going to reflect on the part that I have played in making them special human beings. They all have that strength of definition in the shape of their faces with a strong chin. This is obviously derived from their dad’s genes, but with that strength comes a softness too. I notice this at certain times in the expression on their faces and in the curve of their smile. That look presents itself when they tend our household pets or engage in conversation with a child. I like to think that I had a part to play in those mannerisms.

They all love music albeit that their taste varies considerably. They play it in the car, strum guitars when they ponder their own thoughts or don earphones and allow the rhythm to obliterate the outside world. It all started way back in their car seats when we traveled long distances to do the monthly shop. Even my youngest son was ‘my city car kid’ as we traveled backwards and forwards to the sport commitments of ‘the brothers.’ They would bob to the beat while their mother kept time with her hands on the steering wheel. This would later become a great source of embarrassment to them as I sang and tapped to the music. I was severely reprimanded as it was not cool for a mom to display such behaviour. But as little one’s they thought it was grand! And so the seed was planted to enjoy music in any form.

 Where did dinosaurs come from? There were endless questions that had to be answered. The older two were borne in the ‘the pre internet stage’. I often resorted to seeking the answers in the local library, as it soon became apparent that my field of knowledge did not stretch that far. How do you explain evolution to a four year old? He eventually explained it to his mother with the use of pictures! I do still pride myself that my boys were encouraged to question, to seek knowledge and to analyse the facts. As an older mom, I was thankful to have the use of the internet when my youngest son began the ‘stage of questions.’ I had the added bonus that he would run and look up the answers for himself, as he was more computer literate than I was at the time. But I must add that I was involved with the discussion that ensued afterwards!

One of the joys of having sons is that over the years partners will be added to the extended family. If they are blessed with offspring, I will take great delight in observing small traits that could possibly have come down the line from me. Of course I will not take ownership for any possible ‘streke’ that might present themselves!

Jumping for joy with my boys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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