Monday, May 15, 2017
For Love of Books and Beaches
I spent this past weekend house and dog-sitting, so you can well imagine my pleasure at designing my days around a dog once again.
We went to the beach first thing....later, we walked to the library, where I came away with treasure. Librarians, wherever I live, know me by name very quickly, so many of the books and movies that come in having been requested by me. In Port Alberni, they joked I kept their user stats up all by myself. "You secure our funding," they would laugh.
So today I brought away two treasures, the movie Collateral Beauty that I have long wanted to see, and a slim volume titled "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair- My Year of Magical Reading".
I am thick into it. The author, Nina Sankovitch, lost her sister to cancer at 46. In deciding to read a book a day for a year, she sought both escape and a way back into life, its moments of beauty that offset the sorrow. For which we would make this journey again and again. Nina remarks that looking backwards makes us wiser. She weaves wisdom from her reading through family history, memory and philosophy - my favourite kind of read.
So a lovely afternoon read, with Menina the Dog snoozing close by, then a suppertime walk on the beach, along the tombolo. That is a long stretch of sand linking the beach to Frank's Island. Most times, one can walk to the island, but sometimes the tides cover it, the waves meeting across it to wonderful effect.
Suddenly I remembered standing in the same spot eighteen years ago, turning in a circle, seeing beauty for 360 degrees. On that spot I first intuited that I would soon be leaving this place so dear. It was unthinkable, but necessary. I had fallen ill, income had stopped, and there was no way to hang onto my toehold, precarious at best. I mourned it the seventeen years I spent away.
And now I was back, in that very spot. Slowly, smiling, I turned in a circle. Again, beauty for 360 degrees. I was home.