Saturday morning began slowly. I took a long leisurely spa at 7:00 am, thoroughly enjoying the quiet of the morning, the warm sun on my face and the gentle breeze scented with pine and sea. Then Her Highness and I went to our usual Saturday morning walk in the meadow behind the famers’ market. Then we walked through the market.
On the way back to the car, we happened on Kris and her daughter who’s visiting from Switzerland, Carley. Kris has lived here for 13 years but had never seen the meadow, so I walked them to see it and they loved it as I do. It’s only been publicly owned for a while, so most islanders and tourists haven’t seen it.
Then I came home to do errands (including doing laundry and hanging it on the line as these days may be numbered) and some planting of Virginia Creeper that I hope will soon cover the west wall of the house. Plus, I cut up several wire coat hangers. I wanted the base of the triangle; it yielded one long strait piece of thin metal. And to each one I attached a surveyor’s ribbon, and I numbered every flag.
I ill place these little flags in the garden. The numbers on the flags correspond with numbered notes that I’ve written for Bronwyn about what I want to do with the plant, or the location I want it moved to. Or whatever. This is my world without speech. Again, even if I had speech, I would keep doing what I do now: Writing out exactly what I want. It could be said that although I can’t speak very well, I am a better communicator now.
Last night while I was typing, it was 7:00 pm, Sheba started barking. When she does that, I rush to the door to get her and quiet her. But it was Deborah, with her dog, Stormy. I love Stormy, so Deborah and I often chat while I make a fuss over Stormy, and she makes a fuss over Sheba. As we were doing that last night, Isobel came by with her dog, Ellie, a stunning young Collie.
The three of us talked for about 15 minutes, and as I walked back into my private Ponderosa that feels like Versailles to me, I realized that I’d just had another Gabriola miracle moment. I’ve come to know a lot of people in my neighbourhood. We have a neighbourhood party, we have neighbourhood emergency meetings, we pass each other walking to the trails or walking pets on the street. My street is a long slow curve from Wild Cherry to Wild Cherry again, so people walk the circuit of our street and a bit of Wild Cherry.
We happened together and we talk neighbourhood issues. I love it. We act like the country folk portrayed in American westerns that I saw on television or in the movies. We even have a Fall Fair, dances, community barbeques, charity walks, fishing derby’s, etc. I haven’t lived like this since childhood. The Tyrell’s let me run free, so I got to know lots of people in the neighbourhood, both adult and fellow children, to be with. They liked my company. And it’s like that again. Pete and Ali, Shelly and Kevin, Dave and Ursula, they’re all frequent guests here. And then there are many others whom I am always delighted to see, but whom I know less well. Paradise.
I planted Virginia Creeper along the base of my west-facing exterior wall. I hope to cover my west wall with it over the years. I hope I get to see it grow high. It’s going to get expensive to maintain my garden, but I know I will recover it all when I sell. I’ve transformed a desert into a lush and tranquil garden. (The cheezy Buddha statue is due to arrive soon.)
I dug 5 shallow holes along the base of the wall, planted the VC in the hole, and filled the hole with rich new soil. Each one took 5 minutes to do. That’s all. And my leg got tingly, reminding me to be careful. Thank goodness for Bronwyn. Instead of doing work, I spend money.
Today has dawned partially cloudy. I’ll be walking with Sheba, but not for too far, rehearsing my monologue, reading and going to Kris and Steve’s for a cocktail party at 3:30. I’m really looking forward to going.