Sunday, 3 November 2013

Vancouver Hue

It's a different window out which I look this morning. The trees I see are a rioting colour palette of autumn, a patchwork of golds, yellows, oranges, reds and even light greens. There are some bare trees, hardly visible through the screen of fall paint that blocks the distant view. Beyond the decidious lie the evergreens, tall and stately, broad and bold as only a west coast Red Cedar for Douglas Fir can be. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

There are times when coming from Calgary to Vancouver is much like going over the rainbow, with Kicking Horse, Rogers and Coquihalla Passes acting as the storms through which one must pass to arrive at the technicolour that is this land by the sea, with Vancouver as ever the Emerald City, home of some wizard who keeps the weather at bay. All here is a verdant scream of life; even in the throws of autumn new green shoots continue to struggle towards the fading, falling day. Even in the rains that descend from the sky as a blanket, layer upon layer, the grass continues to grow, there are flowers still blooming in the gardens.

No wonder people in Vancouver are different that the rest of us. Having lived here for most of my life I simply took the climate as normal. I could never understand the Canadian Tire commercials with their mockery of winter weather, hawking snow blowers and shovels for something the denizens of dream town see but once or twice in a year, and sometimes not at all. It's just a different life here in this small pocket of warm moist Pacific air clinging in the delta of the Fraser Valley and dreamily settling on the strand of southern Vancouver Island. It's warm.

The drive from Calgary to Vancouver, something I did all day yesterday, is what I would call at "production run". My goal started as Salmon Arm but as the day and the drive wore on that goal shifted, the demarcation line for completion moving ever westward as I felt the day collapse behind me. The drive was anything but easy, with ice and snow clinging to the roads as I left Calgary, crawling westward on Highway 1 towards Canmore and Banff. It did not improve as I made my way through the high passes of the western mountains.

Rain took over from snow where the road came down from the heights and into the various valleys along the way, but with each successive rise through the Rockies, Selkirks, Monashees, and finally the Cascades, the road once again covered itself in its winter blanket of slip and slide, the sheet of snow and ice that is true Canadian winter driving.

Today I am headed to the hospital only this time it's not for me. My mother is having heart trouble. They are planning an angiogram for Monday, the same procedure I went through in July. It should be simple. With any luck they will resolve what we think are the blocked arteries causing her pain. With any luck she will be home in a couple of days, sitting on her chair, looking out her window at these leaves of light and hue.

1 comment:

  1. You write beautifully and expressively, Richard. Hope your mother does well. Anything heart related scares me right now but will not let fear rob me of life! Sorry we could not connect this time.I was so looking forward to it,but time with my grandchildren is very important especially if they are moving away.