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June 30, 2014

My CoPilot

By Maryanna Gabriel

Seems To Think I Am Quite A Wag
She is a rescue dog. Lexie appeared to me in a dream the night of my hearing of her so I knew she was supposed to be with me. While I thought I was rescuing her, it turns out she is actually rescuing me. I have had her a year now and she is almost twelve. She keeps me on the straight and narrow, lots of walks a day, and three squares. She likes to sit at the chair at the front as she can see but I tell her she has not got her license and when she does I will be happy for the relief. She is the most amazing companion, very aware and sensitive, I tell her so often, a fact she seems to appreciate, for she seems to think I am quite a wag. Long ago I read John Steinbeck's "Travels With Charley" which I enjoyed, the story of the famous American author driving around America. I fancy myself similarly inspired. I need some time to gather my thoughts around my new grandson. I feel I have been out of time and now I am reentering my journey in a whole new way, changed somehow in a way difficult to define, by this tiny and oh so magnificent being. I am not sure what to do about the flooding I seem to be heading towards. Saskatchewan is in havoc. In the province of Alberta it is really different, a change so radical that it feels like it  is a different country, but this is Canada after all. I head south for "Writing On Stone Provincial Park" and hope that the predicted rains to the east shift soon. This park has a lot of spirit in a topographical low profile kind of way.... the rocks seem to pulsate with energy. I carry those that I love with me as I depart.

June 24, 2014

Alberta Bound

By Maryanna Gabriel

Feeling antsy about being out of cell range I came out of the Ashinola asking myself what was the matter?
Coming Out Of The Ashinola - Mountain Sheep
There were messages waiting as I drove out of the valley. They were from my daughter. With trembling excitement I accessed the first message. Her water had broken. Hurriedly I accessed the second message. Well, well. The miracle had happened. A son had been born unto us this day in Alberta. I lift up my eyes past the sage covered hills to the blue skies.

A pickup pulled over and a man with copper coloured skin and a Navajo hat asked me with concern if something was wrong. I beamed at him. "I`m a grandmother!" He shook his head and drove off smiling as I stared joyfully at a Snake Crossing sign. After a happy night with my son-in-law`s parents in wine country catching up on all of the details, it is Alberta bound for me. I would not say I am exactly driving like a trucker but let`s just say all fear and trepidation have been set aside as a rainy mist descends upon the Kettle Valley. I pass through historic Greenwoods into Doukabour country. The Deadwood Junction CafĂ© here is quite wonderful and I learn that the copper foundry that was built in the 1800`s was described by The Province as "one of the most complete and modern that can be found in the world today." No matter. I have miles to go before I sleep, a young grandson to meet, a precious family to keep. Thanks for being with me here with me.

June 23, 2014

Dreaming Long Waking Dreams

By Maryanna Gabriel

          "Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with sparkle, the ripple,
            the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed
           long waking dreams." 
Kenneth Graeme - Wind In The Willows

I am feeling a lot better after my orientation. I was warmly received and the button thing feels far less intimidating. Clearly, though, they are onto something. Shuttle busses to and from the Vancouver airport transporting “guests” from Deutchland? An entire staff that is bilingual with
Staring At Flowers I Do Not Recognize
English and German? The waiting room resembled a small airport with travellers picking up and dropping off RV’s. Canada is it. I understand the forests of Germany are ‘vacuumed’ in feeling. Seeing this reinforces to me the value and uniqueness of what we have.

I write this by the bank of the Ashinola River in Cathedral Lake country near Keremeos. There is a quality here that is similar to Sedona, less mystical perhaps, but even more powerful in a pristine way. The red rocks, pines, smooth boulders and roaring waters are soothing and I find myself deeply relaxing when I did not even understand I was tense. There is a purity here that is a balm for the spirit. Dorothy MacLean, formerly of Findhorn, writes that every country has a devic oversoul. Canada, must be crystalline if I were to imagine it. I sit and I read a newly published book about Vancouverites becoming ranchers in the remote Chilcotin. It is called “Somewhere Inbetween” which is kind of how I feel. Anything really to avoid “Care And Cleaning Of Your Corian Counters” although I did capitulate at one point today with  the driver’s manual when a light would not go out, rather a concession I thought on my part. I love my new folding chair. It is just right. I lean back and stare at flowers I do not really recognize and eye a bird who is watching me wanting crumbs possibly. It has been far too long since I just sat and read and it feels wonderful to give into the charms of this place and put my feet up, my faithful doggie at my side.

June 20, 2014

Ship's Log - Star Date: Solstice 2014

 The Helm
 By Maryanna Gabriel

"Here today, and up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!"

-Kenneth Grahame The Wind In The Willows

To boldly go.... out of the driveway. It was quite a process understanding how to get the battery recharged. I had to hire a mobile locksmith for one. Nevermind, it's over now. My what a lot of buttons this thing has. My first stop is Delta, on the mainland. When I bought this thing I was in shock. Words kind of washed over me on that stormy winter day. I now stare at my notes thinking, "What's this then? Gibberish? Code? I wonder what it means?" So a review then. That's the ticket. Did you know that maps are free from BCAA? I thought perhaps to stall things until they came. They came in two days. It's a sign. Goodbye clematis. Goodbye hummingbirds. Goodbye strawberries and bunny rabbits eating my lettuce. Canada.... the final frontier. These are the voyages of Maryanna. Her mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and to boldy go, well, out of the driveway, to where she has gone before but not for a very long while. 

June 11, 2014

Getting Out Of The Driveway

By Maryanna Gabriel

Cocktails Anyone?
It must be nerves. I'm all jittery. I have a quest to fulfill. An odyssey. A journey of mystic proportions. Okay maybe not so much but some would agree transitioning into grandmotherhood and then journeying to one's past are of such epic proportions. I'm going. To my pregnant daughter's and then to the east. Ahhhh..... where you ask? I have been reluctant to tell hardly believing it myself. I have wanted to for ever so long, revisit the beaches I played on in my childhood... Moon River-Muskoka, Shediac-New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island. Places names are calling me, Grasslands, Todoussac, La Pocatiere, Sugar Loaf Mountain, ahhh St. Andrews By The Sea, eating lobster, and catching toads, to hear the whispers of the child I was, the parents that were, the homes that held us. A friend said to me today, "I understand why you need to this! It's a validation." Yes, I thought, a validation of these memories that I contain and where I was, with the people I loved. I am always like this before departure which I find mildly reassuring. At the moment I have managed to run the battery down of the van I am travelling in. It's a fine van. It is much nicer than my house, really. It is a lot to live up to this van and I joked recently I feel I need a pedicure when I am in it. That being said, I am starting to get excited. What has been dreamed of for ever so long, well years, I think many, many years, is actually happening. All you have to do is drive Maryanna, I whisper to myself. Just turn the key and go. If only I can get the van going. Think of the grandchild.