Nook

It was time to get my hair cut this morning since I won’t be seeing my hairstylist in Mount Brydges, Ontario for the next five weeks. Pop’s Barber Shop, complete with the traditional candy stripe barber pole, sits on Main Street, Black Diamond, Alberta. I showed up before the shop opened and spent a few minutes reading the historical sign beside the building. The old blue structure had been moved from nearby Royalties around 1950. Royalties once was the home of 5000 folks dependent on the emerging oil industry. Today its population is zero.

Past the sign, I was vaguely aware of some bushes. A closer inspection revealed a little path. It was an alley that I so easily could have missed. Entering the greenery, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a wooden bench, hidden from the street.

I sat down.

A place of peace, adjacent to the madding crowd … or as madding as four people passing by can get. A semi-trailer roared along Main Street. Only its stack was visible to this hidden one.

A place of sanctuary, untouched by the rushing, the to do lists, the lives lived with pressured purpose. I loved the respite from the hustle and the bustle, but steps away it was available to me if I wanted it.

The cave or the marketplace? Which beckoned more vividly? In the waiting for shorn hair, I chose the resting. In the next hour, I was back with the flow of people. Both have a place in my life.

Now the sheltering bushes
Now the sidewalk and stores
And now … ?

Cozy

6:30 pm

AccuWeather is calling for ten hours of snow overnight.  Right now it’s freezing drizzle.  I’m sitting in my den at the front of the house, watching for snow signs in the streetlight.  I’m eager for the storm and so very thankful that I’m safe inside.

I think back to forty years ago, in the mountains of Manning Park east of Vancouver, British Columbia.  A group of us had rented a chalet for a few days and the snow was coming down hard.  A fire kept us warm and the windows looked like a Christmas card.  After dark, we ventured out to the neighbouring chalets, singing carols to the occupants.  We smiled and they smiled.  What a great memory.

Tonight, though, I don’t want to be out and about.  I’m curled up on my love seat with a marvelous book – Wonder.  It’s the story of a 10-year-old who has a deformed face.  His spirit, however, is just fine.  And he’s starting to draw people in.

I’ll keep watching the streetlight and will tell you when there’s some action up there.

8:15 pm

It’s starting!  Essentially horizontal snow.  Oh, bring it on!  So far, the street is still black but I have great faith that white is on its way.

11:30 pm

Snowflakes still dipping and diving in the light … but very little on the ground.  (Sigh)  I want inches blanketing the road.  Blizzard, wherefor art thou?  It’s time to lay my head on the pillow and dream of a white world on the awakening.  Goodnight.

8:00 am

Boo.  Just a skiff of snow, with patches of grass showing through on the lawn.  The street remains black.  What happened to my blessed blizzard?

Once I sat with these thoughts for a few minutes, I realized that I don’t need the outside world to do what I want it to do.  I can bring forth “sanctuary”, “nestling down”, “coziness” whenever I choose.  Now, as I look over my backyard, I see a delicate painting … a covering of white sprinkled with strands of green.  It’s beautiful.  It’s home.