Monday, May 2, 2022


Sunday was what it should be. A day of rest—complete and utter rest. I was tired from all the preparation for Saturday night’s meal. All I did on Sunday was to go on the big community dog walk, which was, as it always is, wonderful. The worst moment of the walk had me arrive at a curve in the trail and encountering Daryl pulling a long, long shard of deer pelt his dog was choking on, having swallowed quite a bit of it.

Daryl had to pull it out of Pepper with his hands. Afterwards, we could smell him from afar. It was putrid.

I got three love letters today! That’s to say, emails from three fellow islanders who were kind enough to take time to give thanks for our friendship in a way that thrilled me. It made me realize that Gabriola has truly, truly become my home. I know lots of people, and some have become dear and valued friends. My soul resides here now.

During yesterday’s walk I talked for a while with Dan. He is a really, lovely man. He’s warm and friendly, and he greatly appreciates all I did to help he and Steve settle here. So, yesterday morning he proposed hosting a dinner at his house for me and three Eoin, François and David, three gay men I know here, so my gay cabal has grown from four to seven members.

And Di, Stacy, Bryce, Kris and Steve, is another group of friends with whom I often get together. And then there’s my neighbours: Kevin and Shelly, Ali and Peter, and Merrill and Leo. There are all people with whom I dine periodically in their homes and mine. Add my pets and my backyard … paradise.

And speaking of the backyard, I can hardly wait to get it cleaned up in the next stretch of good weather. It’s my sanctuary. But now, when I look out at it, as I always do when I fetch wood or go to the studio, because it makes me feel like the luckiest man in the world. And now, in my landscape, is a friendship gate, wherethrough, I see, and can visit, with Merrill, Leo and Issa. It keeps getting better here.

This morning, the arborist comes to see the trees I want taken down. It’s very dark and it’s raining, so I won’t be working in the yard today unless it stops. The rain is loud on the roof. It makes me want to light the fire and just read the day away.

Another week starts: I expect to hear from the clinic about being on the board this week, and I go to Nanaimo on Thursday for pulmonary tests.

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