Saturday, December 29, 2007

of birds, flights, and empty nests -- oh, and paintings too!

I'm really missing my daughter Megan this week although it's not the first, but rather the third, Christmas she's been away: once in Costa Rica; last year, living in Montreal, she visited Toronto at Christmas; and now she's deep in the interior of BC, living and working in a ski lodge. What can I say, the girl likes to travel! It's not that I get to see her that often anyway, even when she's only a ferry ride or so away -- cook's hours are not the easiest to visit around -- but it's still comforting knowing I could give her a hug within a few hours if I really worked at it. Instead, now she's in a place where her cellphone isn't really an option (so she's given it up for now) and where, although she seems to be on Facebook a bit (I'm not there yet -- one cyber-addiction at a time, please!), she claims the Internet hook-up is too slow for regular e-mailing and blogging. So I fret and miss and fret a bit more -- had a strange anxiety dream last night that involved masses of snow, me crouching against a cement wall to get out of the path of a huge semi blasting through that snow, and a wise neighbour of ours who really cares for Megan. Carol's presence in the dream's context of snow seemed to my waking self an arrow pointing to my girl, even though she wasn't actually there (which now, as I write this, makes perfect sense -- it's her absence that's the significant presence in the dream, right Carol?!)
Anyway, since girlcook's not here right now, she hasn't yet seen her Christmas gift in person: although we bought it in November, it was still hanging in a show when she left, and besides, it would have been a bit tough to fit in the bus and taxi to the lodge! We bought it for her because she really loves this painting, which we hung in our Vancouver apartment. It's called Totem, and it's by Leanne Brusatore, whose work you can see more of here.

Since Megan likes this painting so much, we thought she'd like another painting from Leanne's series exploring the crow. This one, especially, seems perfect for Meg who has been known to do a little shadow-boxing herself (the painting's titled Shadowboxing)

This is the same series, of course, that we also chose Bronwen and Adam's gift from. Their painting is called Refraction, and you can see it in the bottom row below, on the far left -- it's a marvel of almost watery greens with a feather suspended in the central bottom third. We've sent Megan a picture of hers, but I really want to be able to show it to her in person -- that's going to be a while, though, as she's got some serious travel plans lined up. Some days, I have a tough time with how far my little bird has flown, but I'm proud of how well she manages when she's out there and I look forward to hearing more about her adventures (apparently, she got to go up in the helicopter the other day!).

Meanwhile, crowds of these little guys -- Golden Crowned Kinglets -- have been cheering me up. Especially after a bout of wind and rain, they cluster on our mud roads, picking up seeds that have been knocked down, I suspect. They're quite tiny, fast-moving, and for me, getting close enough to really see that flash of gold that stripes their crown is a magical mood-lifter. So far, my favourite bird, plebian as this choice might be to birders, is the Red-Winged Blackbird, but I'd have to say the GC kinglet is coming up a close second -- and it has the advantage of providing welcome cheer in the dreariest part of winter. Won't bring my little girl home but does coax a smile. I'd love to catch a shot of one foraging on the dirt road, but meanwhile, thanks to Supercilium at Flickr here's a wee fellow in a tree.


  1. Oh, I love red-winged blackbirds too. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and they were everywhere but we don't get them this far south. I miss their shrill song. We do get lots of crows though, and the occasional red-tailed hawk, even in our suburban neighborhood. When I worked in a high rise in Century City, we even had a peregrine falcon who perched on our ledge daily, scoping for prey below.

  2. Deja: The falcon would be an exciting visitor -- we once saw a falcon nest in a castle we were visiting in France with the kids when they were younger -- it's one of the best memories of the trip! I've heard of them setting up urban residence but never had a chance to see such a thing.

  3. hmmmm
    I miss you too. My shifts here are just as long as they have been anywhere else ,except now I have the luxury of split shifts...:(
    And what do you think that I do in that spare time?
    I fret and I miss, and I even cry a little.
    I love you mom. I will for ever be coming and going, but my world revolves around you so all you have to do is wait. Before you know it, I'll be back begging for your hugs and kisses


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