Thursday, September 30, 2010


I lost a ring this summer while at my brother's. It was a silver ring - you know the kind - the ones that have the inside that spins. It was wide, plain, and I wore it on my thumb.

Thing is - due to my health I've been quite nauseous for months now. And with that comes loss of weight. And because of that my ring slipped off my finger.

The Man bought me this ring many years ago during a trip to Vancouver. I can even remember the little shop we were in and how I had admired so many kinds until deciding on this one. I wore it then as a thumb ring and never feared losing it.

We spent the better part of a day searching for that ring. Donning rubber gloves we tore apart 6 bags of garbage and rummaged through stuff you don't want to look at a second time. We even got out the metal detector that sits behind my brother's bedroom door and proceeded to search the compost pile. My brother shoved that metal detector deep into the compost only to have to clean it off again.

It never turned up.

It sounds like such a big issue and my heart and mind dwelled on it for days.

But then one morning I walked into the rafting center and found a small collection of people looking quite somber. A man I had met and who was a good acquaintance of my brother, had been killed in a farming accident. A bachelor with a passion for painting who was kind and gentle and soft spoken.

He and my brother belonged to the same artists group, and three of his paintings hung in the rafting center for sale as part of the annual Artwalk the group presented each summer. After the funeral I often looked closely at these paintings, wondering if I could see the artist behind them and feeling the huge loss and hole in the world this man left.

I've thought about these two things a lot. Losses come in so many different ways and can often invoke the same feelings. That hole in the world, that ache in the heart, that searching for the lost item over and over.

How many times have I thought I've seen someone I've lost in a crowd? How many times did I think I saw a glint of silver in the grass only to find it was a piece of garbage? Why do we keep looking when we know we will never find these things again? Why does the loss sit in our hearts and pulse with its own little ache that never goes away.

I've lost many things over the years. Not so much in a material way really but in a more valuable way. Friends, pets, family, acquaintances, my mind. And sometimes the loss is not always a death. Sometimes it comes in losing a friendship - a loss that is like a death in itself.

These thoughts haunt me. Looking out at the fallen leaves I think of the painter who lies beneath them now, never to paint their beauty again. Perhaps, if I still had that silver ring, I would place it on his grave so that the losses would be united.

Thoughts for contemplation this Fall morning.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Am I Back?

I'd like to say I am, but in reality I feel like I have very little time left to me to accomplish as much as I want to before I have surgery on my right hand.

November 15th looms ever closer with each passing day and I can feel that little niggle of panic in the pit of my stomach as each day closes and another one creeps up.

I'm not making excuses folks.

The 'summer' for us Albertans was probably the worst on record. It was miserable and cold and any days that showed sunshine barely made it over 20C.

However!! This weekend we do have a forecast of 27C in our area. We just might get one day of summer now that it is officially over. I won't hold my breath - blue is not my colour.

As for my long absence......

I spent the summer mostly at my brother's, herding folks around as they prepared for the adventure of their life and then sharing laughs and smiles with them upon their return to our rafting center.

This year was much different for me than all the others. My health kept me from participating in most things and I loosened 'my' reins and let others take over my jobs for me. I basically looked after the building and tourists that came in once everyone was out on the river. I enjoyed myself - selling my jewelry and my brother's pottery is always so much fun. Then there's just hanging around with my brother on days when he came back early with the lunch dishes and we swapped tales with sudsy hands and munching on leftovers.

I still love it. I still love making people smile and hearing them scream with fear and delight. At the end of the day, knowing you've given that to a large group of people makes it all worthwhile.

Surprisingly, with the 'summer' we had, we were busier than other years. I put it down to people wanting to go and have fun no matter what the weather. They are more determined to have something to show for their summer than the regular whine us Albertans give.

Now home for a couple of weeks and trying desperately to get in as much myself before I lose the use of my hands, I can certainly relate.

Ahhhhh - Alberta summers!