Posts Tagged memoirs

September, I remember…

Vargas Island ,Clayoquot Sound 2006.

Vargas Island ,Clayoquot Sound 2006.

I don’t know what September is like where you are, where ever you are, sitting reading my blog post. And thank you by the way for stopping by. Here on my island home of Salt Spring on the evening of August 31st the climate changes. The air is cooler, damper and has a taste of something intangible. The light is different the morning of September 1st. How does it know when to change? Is there a meter, or a counter that click click clicks through the months until it reaches those sad last gasps of summer and then clicks one last time and Fall arrives. Labour Day weekend being a weather crap shoot every year. Will it rain? Will it shine? All our hopes wrapped in the last desperate hours of that final weekend of freedom before it all comes crashing down like a Berlin wall of winter. Yes, to my mind there are only two seasons on the west coast. Summer and that other thing. Not winter per say but a thing, a creature, an entity that comes around to torment me with months of grey and rain and the damp cold that digs deep into your bones. They don’t call this the ‘wet coast’ for nothing. September is the last gasp month. Not quite summer anymore but not quite that other thing either.

September brings with it sweet and bitter memories, of back to school, romances come and gone, kayaking trips and walking bare foot on cold sand with a hot cup of coffee in the sunrise hour. With all its connotations September remains my favorite month of the twelve. It is the light and the slight dampness. It is the call for warm sweaters in the morning and begging for a cool t-shirt by 2 pm. It is the time of confusion for dressing and whether or not to have the doors open past a certain evening hour. It is the morning mists holding tightly to the ground and gathering in the apple trees in the valley below my house. It is the fact that I can still leave my bedroom window open at night, at least for now. It is the dry grass knowing that with the first rains of October (and that rain will come) all will return to green then blanketed by the fallen maple leaves that started to give up the ghost early this year. It is the threat of a first frost. It is the embrace of adding a log to the fireplace. It is dark too early and increasingly shorter days. Time to dig out those books collected and wine to drink. It is the beginning of a cosier time to slow down after the wild and so short-lived summer months of not caring about interior things.

September, welcome. I was expecting you to show up at some point this year but not as fast as you have. Were you ahead on schedule or was I behind? In any rate, there is no fighting with you. You are now here and all I can do is say hello, come on in. Sit your bones down as you may be tired from the journey. I do hope you will help me out in making yet another set of September memories to add to my list of those you seem always to inspire. It is time to dig out the tent, the cook stove and embrace the damp morning on a beach with a fresh hot cup of coffee and wet chilly sand under my bare toes.


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Island Kid

images You may have noticed a lack of kayak rogue posts of late, but don’t think for a second my paddling friends that I have not been writing, or paddling. I have been doing both although the paddling has been reduced to small windows of usable non-winter in springtime conditions which have been far and few between. Typing at my desk has been warmer, drier and for the most part successful. The projects on the page are not about kayaking, but my kayaking lifestyle would not have happened and we would not be here reading my posts about paddling if not for the decision to move the family from the burbs to a small island back in the mid-1970’s.

For about a year now I have been contemplating a project where I sit down and pull forward memories that are nearly 39-years-old to create a collection of stories and essays about growing up on that island. With time now to actually write, I have begun and it has been a trip so far. A trip down memory lane, to both good and bad of a childhood living in and around nature with oft-times little on the table, but as a kid it was a grand adventure filled with freedom to explore from dawn to after dark. It was a kidhood of fishing on docks with friends, riding bikes in the woods and making mischief on the beach walk home from school each day. It was a kidhood surrounded by rougher characters than you might find on Salt Spring Island these days. Tourism destination was not yet in the local vocabulary and everyone knew what you were doing, even before you did it. Salt Spring Island in the 70’s as to a certain extent remains today is a small town surrounded by water and inhabited by people who could not or would not make it on the outside. It is my home.

That being said and the initial dozen posts posted I invite you all to take a visit to Growing Up SaltSpring on WordPress and take a ride into the past to an island where the diverse gang of hippies, loggers, fisher folk, freedom seekers, pot growers, candle makers, potters, rough types and retirees all rubbed elbows.

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