Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Blog-aversary, and a Different kind of Morning Walk

It was one year ago to day that I began this blog, with this entry introducing myself and my critters. Caleb, of course, has since passed on, and Oliver and Sadie have joined the family. There have been over 25,000 visits to this site (I did not add the counter until about five weeks after I began blogging), some old friends and family, some one-time browsers, and many who have become cyberfriends as we discover each other’s blogs. I have enjoyed finding an outlet for my creative side and sharing stories of the critters and other experiences with my readers. So....Happy Blogaversary to My Life With The Critters.

As my regular readers know, most of my days begin with an early morning walk in the pasture with the dogs. On mornings when the weather is pleasant, I sit on a bench at the top of the hill and spend a few moments meditating, centering my energies and finding balance between the world of paid and unpaid work, the demands (and pleasures) of animal care, and the need to replenish my Self. I watch the dogs explore their surroundings, listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh air, gaze at beautiful grasses before me and the mountains in the distance, and connect with my spiritual side.

This morning’s morning walk, in a tiny little town on the east coast of Vancouver Island, was lacking only in animal companions. Instead of gazing at golden pastures, I watched the sun rise over the waters. I have always loved the ocean – I grew up in a coastal town, and watching the varying shades and motions of the water has always filled me with great pleasure and lulled me, lullaby-like, into a state of calm relaxation. And so it was this morning. The town I was visiting this weekend had been socked in by thick, thick fog for several days and although I knew the ocean was there it was only this morning that the fog lifted, the sun emerged, and the ripples of water performed their magic on the keyboard of my soul.

Here, then, are some of the images captured as the sun burned through the last of the fog and rose over the hill and across the waters:

Although I have not yet found that perfect retirement property, I have confirmed my decision to relocate to the Cowichan Valley area of Vancouver Island once I retire, and I have a better idea of what I want. Thanks to my friend Else, for keeping me company as we looked at property after property, and thanks to Char for providing me with a very comfortable place to stay.

I was reluctant to leave the beauty of the shoreline, but my critters beckoned and I was sure my friend Ellen, who was critter-sitting for me, would be anxious to return to her own home. I wanted to hear all about her adventures -– looking after six dogs (her two whippets and my crew) and a cat, an alpaca and twelve pigs had the potential to produce some humorous and poignant moments. Thanks, Ellen – I owe you BIG TIME for taking on the task and leaving me free to explore the area where I plan to retire, free to begin the daunting task of finding the “right” place for the critters and me. I hope you had as much fun on the farm as I did on the island.


Cathy said...

Such a beautiful part of the world. I am looking at a watercolour on my wall I painted a long time ago. It is marked "Mill Bay'69". It is of Saltspring Island across the bay,I think. It looks a lot like your photo.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures Jean. It is another beautiful day here with the sun rising over Saltspring Island and burning off the low lying fog over the water.
I'm confident that the right house will come up for you and the dogs.


Jean said...

Cathy, good observation! That is Saltspring Island in the background of some of the pictures, though taken from Crofton, a bit further north.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Beautiful pictures, Jean! Especially the last one. What an exciting time for you. Keeping this blog is a beautiful record of the physical and emotional transition from one stage of your life to the next. I have appreciated the sharing of your personal growth as you observe the world around you. Along the way, you have entertained and educated a great many readers with your critter stories and your human ones too. Thank you for that, and for taking time to read my blog and to share your insights, even as you go about what I know is a very, very busy life.

Audrey said...

Oh, Jean! Beautiful photos and what a beautiful place to choose to retire!! I'd love to retire there myself, but that's a few years off yet. I'm so glad that you got away and got to explore some properties. Gorgeous! I wish you all the best in finding JUST the right one for you & the critters!

Hunde Haus said...

Simply stunning photos Jean!

You'll find the perfect place to retire...everything at its own pace.

I bet your puppers, piggies,cat and Alpaca were glad to see you! Must have been a sweet homecoming for you.