Erin's Journals

Monday, March 18, 2024

Just a thought… On your darkest days do not try to see the end of the tunnel by looking far ahead. Focus only on where you are right now. Then carefully take one step at a time, by placing just one foot in front of the other. Before you know it, you will turn that corner. [Anthon St. Maarten]

Welcome to the final full day of winter. With spring’s arrival tomorrow, pat yourself on the back; you’ve made it through another one. And although many Canadians aren’t quite out of the wintry woods yet, there’s hope on the horizon. I’m relieved to tell you that the weather has finally pulled out of the grey and rainy doldrums here on southern Vancouver Island, and we’re feeling as bright as the daffodils that are dotting gardens and washing fields in their sunny yellows.

That is almost exactly how I was not feeling last week when I begged your indulgence and didn’t post a journal. And while I’ve struggled to deal with a bout of depression and overall sadness, I’ve also resorted to one of my favourite things: last-minute escape.

Our therapist reminds me that running away doesn’t solve a problem, and of course I know that; as Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote “Wherever you go, there you are.” But sometimes one needs a change of scenery to reset (and I’ll be taking my copy of this book with me).

For me this week, that scene change is a country cottage in Sooke, BC (one of my favourite places on southern Vancouver Island) that is a few minutes’ drive from the ocean and also happens to be on an alpaca farm. I mean, what is not to like about that? I’ll find out, and you’ll hear more this Thursday when Lisa Brandt and I talk about it, as I’ll be doing my part of Gracefully and Frankly episode 65 from there. The hosts assure me that the WiFi will let me do what I need to, and I’ll bring plenty of work (editing, writing, etc.) to do while I’m away. I’ve also downloaded three books.

Of course, in addition to leaving Rob, Livi and Dottie behind, I’ll also be missing this Thursday’s visit with our dear, dear friend Mira.

I know I haven’t mentioned her lately, but she’s doing well, is healthier than anyone might hope to be at 98 years old and is one of the bright spots in our week that doesn’t include grandkids.

Our visits are just so filled with love – from the hugs at the door to the kisses as we depart a few hours later – that we can’t imagine a week without seeing Mira. And now we’ve managed to add to her joy with yet another furry face on our visits.

Mira loved when we introduced Dottie (who’ll be two years old on the weekend, on Lauren’s birthday Sunday), and was even more delighted when Livi joined our family. Far more chill than Dot, but somehow less shy, Livi and Mira have bonded in a way none of us could have predicted. I mean, look at these two!

Mira wishes she could keep the dogs for us when we go away, but of course she’d want to walk them, and I find it challenging sometimes to manage these two on their leashes, never mind Mira’s use of a walker and her occasional unsteadiness. But visits fill her need for puppy love and she couldn’t believe that after a lifetime of never letting a dog lick her face, she was allowing just that during our last visit.

How could she resist? When we open the elevator door to her condo home in downtown Sidney, we unleash the dogs and they just tear down the hall to greet Mira, who’s waiting there in the open doorway. One day I should video it for you. What a sight to behold: sheer unfettered joy in so many ways!

And as much as I’ve not really felt like getting dressed or going out, that time we spend delivering prepared meals to (and ultimately visiting for a few hours with) our Mira reminds us that we’re here not just for ourselves but for each other. And when we feel like it – not when someone tells us to – we can count ourselves lucky for those true heart connections.

Have a beautiful spring. May the weather reflect the calendar for you sooner than later, and we’ll talk to you tomorrow on Drift with a new story (The White Cat) and the our aforementioned upcoming alpaca adventures with Lisa on Thursday’s G&F. Take good care. Get your face licked.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, March 18, 2024