winter splinter

today my palms are sprinkled with a few pricks of red from this afternoon’s adventure down the steps to the woodshed, chopping some kindling for the woodstove. i traipse from room to room brewing tea and tending to my mother dearest, who has fallen ill this morning, and, predictably, the fire is out in minutes. keep it stoked, keep it stoked. you’d think that having lived in a house where the equation of chopped wood + crinkled paper + lit match = warm fire has been an everyday essential since i was a tot, i’d have the hang of it by now.

the fire’s been burning for about 2 hours, since my one brush with the outdoors today to meet my old next door neighbour for a little tea n’ chat at our favourite corner cafe, the broken paddle. pulling into the lot, a small flood of guilt washed over me as i quickly noted one lone bicycle drying under the awning above the cafe door, a soaking wet reflective vest sitting on the saddle. i had promised myself yesterday that i would bike the 25 minute ride over kangaroo road to the cafe, but my mind changes as easily as the the island weather patterns  when rain is involved. (not that i didn’t survive 7 solid days of rain cycling through germany this past july!)

expecting to see some kind of fit old fogie at the coffee counter (there are many out this way), haley and i were surprised to see another young metchosin-born-and-rosen, neighbor/school-chum, hardly-recognizable-because-you-haven’t-seen-them-forever friend of ours, mariko. “it’s beautiful out there! metchosin in the fall, i’d forgotten how beautiful it is,” she said with a grin. she was apparently not at all phased by the rain, but instead, thrilled about being home from a year woofing and cycling throughout Japan on a single geared, granny-styled frame. although details of my bike tour through Europe consisted of 20 people and a support vehicle, i don’t think it separated our bond too much.  looks like the thing we most shared in common, however, was the desire to return home to metchosin, as many of us seem to do… even if just for a minute.

here’s a pic of some autumn apples that i stole from in front of our old house on rocky pt. yesterday (which is apparently going to be up for sale sometime soon if a few hundred people want to go in on it with me!).


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