Sunday, 24 November 2013


Sunday brunch is done. Once again the clatter and chatter in the kitchen brings life to the day. Food, central to all human activity, draws us together as we share this time and this place. Topics around the kitchen counter and bar cover everything from how to cut an onion without tears to whether or not the US/Iran Nuclear Treaty makes sense and what Israel might do. As tasks get distributed the conversation focuses, people want to work together, to share what needs to be done, to be with one another.

The sunbeams force their wanton warmth in through the giant easterly faced windows lining the living room, crossing the outer deck, melting the snow and ice on the railings and floor. That same warmth comes in, equally warming the inside wooden floor as the outside, hot enough to create a post-prandial need for sleep. Tonny marches past, checking to see that I am making my "daily update". Elizabeth checks to see if it is acceptable to put garlic in the barbeque ribs. Mike, Dan and Andrea all stand by, ready to take instructions and help where help is needed. Dion extends breakfast with one of the many cookies he made and brought for all to share, wandering out to get more wood for the squat and square woodstove standing beside me.

We know that others will be with us today, friends coming up from Calgary to spend an afternoon or evening eating the more than ample meals we create, watching the Grey Cup, lounging in the hot tub, playing pool, just visiting. It is a kind of gift, this time we get to spend with one another, this time that seems so endless yet so limited. It is largess conferred upon us simply by this place and time, it is a moment bestowed, once given never to be given again.

Outside the cold wind rushes by, shoving the trees to and fro, creating a dance in the forest abounding on these wooded hillsides. Occasionally a door will open as someone comes and goes, letting in a rush of chill soon pushed back by the warmth of the stove, the sun through the window, the people around us. Perhaps this is the greatest warmth of all, to be with those we love, with those who care, with those who will accept us for who we are, where we are, without judgement or measure. Perhaps human warmth is the only true comfort. Perhaps.

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