Saturday, 23 November 2013

This Is What We Do

I awoke this morning to the sound of the phone ringing. It wasn't my phone. I wasn't in my bed. It was before sunrise, dark, a cold orange glow resting deep on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This "cabin" where we are spending the weekend is nestled hard against the rising massifs that are the Alberta Rockies. The front faces west, looking at the steep hillside. The back faces east, towards the rising sun, towards that ever brightening glow.

The phone was Anisa, wondering if her boyfriend Dan had finally made it here. The roads out into these hills are bad, especially at night, especially with the fresh, frozen snow rutted into the half mile gravel driveway that leads from the forest service road to eventual arrival. Dan, and Mike, had both arrived in the middle of the night, their disparate schedules converging at the front door of the cabin, deep in the night's darkness.

I managed to sleep through the noise of their arrival, yet the phone woke me to wonder where they were. Brad told me the vehicles were here, so should they be. As I arose the sun glow over the foothills slowly began to merge from orange gold to sunny blue with a far and distant wisp of cloud. Slowly, noisily, chatting and clattering, we arose from our various bedrooms and sleeping spots to cluster around the kitchen island, strengthening our morning with coffee, girding ourselves for our day of doing little but rest and spending time together.

The kitchen always seems to be the centre of our gatherings. We cling together around the preparing, cooking, eating, cleaning. We talk, subjects ranging from cultural differences to language to work to intense personal issues. We stumble about in our morning weakness, bouncing off each other until that first globule of morning's dark nectar is ingested, swallowed deep into waiting, caffeine surging into us, awakening us.

Breakfast is a team affair. Some get, some prepare, some cook, some do the wise thing and just stay out of the way, smelling the sweet smoke of bacon and sausage, sensing the feast which starts our day. We are together as only we can be, smiling and teasing, compassionate and caring.

This is what we do.

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