Wednesday, October 7, 2020


Everything looked and felt spectacular yesterday. It was twenty-two degrees at by early afternoon, so I got Sheba into the car and we went to the Ricki Road trail that is my favourite for that time of day. It’s a wide trail that serves to provide access to firetrucks should there ever be a fire in the Seven-Oh-Seven Park. It’s nice and smooth and it’s the brightest trail; because the park was logged long ago, it now supports mostly deciduous trees.

The Arbutus trees are fecund with bright orange berries. They look stunning in the golden light of the afternoon. And this is the season when the Salal plants shed many leaves that turn the most beautiful colours before they fall. Nearly everything else is dry and brittle except the evergreen Huckleberries that never lose the brilliant luster on their leaves.

All my working life, nearly every trail experience such as the one I had yesterday, occurred when I was on vacation somewhere. Consequently, I am awash in spectacular memories as I walk—of nights walks on Mykonos, after a day of safari in Tanzania or Namibia, unforgettable evening walks along the Ganges or Nile, and many memories of my many, many late evening walks during my life in Nice.

It’s almost Thanksgiving. I’ve lots to be thankful for: My breakdown was exactly four-and-a-half years ago, yesterday, and I’m “clean.” I’m not on any drugs, I live without therapy and my symptoms now are “ones,” not “tens” on the severity scale.

Also: Today is the first day of my fourth year on Gabriola—perhaps the happiest years of my life thanks to the beauty of this island and its compassionate community, my log home (with studio, fireplace and shed) and my pets.

And finally, today also marks the four-month mark of my life without sugar or baking. I still get a high every day from the difference in flexibility and stamina I experience. 

It’s a significant day; I’ll be mildly celebrating with Patsy this afternoon.

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