today’s thoughts (from a kayak)


Red winged blackbirds. Darting in and out of reeds, returning sometimes with nesting material. Sometimes I think they just go out for smokes.

Morning pond air chock full of chittering, occasional grunts from somewhere in the bull rushes behind my boat. I tend not to worry about strange sounds on the water… it’s only what’s on land that’s worrisome.

Kingfisher. Flies like she means business.

Seagull. On perpetual holiday.

All this singing, chittering, trilling, cawing. Is it a band or a choir?

[Every time I don’t bring a sandwich, I regret it.]

Yellow finch flits to the accompaniment of frog solo bass.

Have lodged my boat among lily pads and stare at opposite shore wondering what it must be like to understand nature, to know what tree that is or what everything’s surviving on, what kind of fish is it that keeps jumping here, and then here… to have some idea of how to move through the world less clunkily, to disturb little, to be still. I ask these questions then open my tupperware container of market blue berries and eat them with inelegant fingers.

[The lily pads work extremely well keeping my boat in place. I wonder if the voyageurs knew this trick.]

Water level too high for egrets, herons, both blue and green, cormorants too.

Deer. First one, then two. I paddle gently, watching them on the woodland side of the pond but they must see me because their nonchalance suddenly turns to startled and then they turn into the woods. And, poof, they’re gone.

A kind of elation, mild ecstasy, maybe not even so mild… arrives if I stay in one place long enough. The opposite of boredom. The pleasure of being somewhere long enough to have questions, to understand… something…

Two cardinals. I may have caught them in a picture I was taking of the light that has turned lime green yellow bright on this summer morning.

Or maybe not.




#todaysthought (and a book)


There are brownies in my fridge. The chewy chocolate kind made with shredded *zucchini instead of eggs and milk, and having one with peppermint tea is kind of blissful. Add rain washing everything, turning it this impossible spring green, and new things everywhere budding and opening and blooming and the way cats are able to so totally relax and it gets me thinking about the difference between what we need and what we want. It makes me think that if we’re lucky enough to be breathing, to have the luxury of walking and seeing and hearing, if we have good friends, a smattering of family, an animal or two in our life, a splash of joy occasionally, work we find meaningful, a decent conversation now and then, a place to live, a comfortable chair, a change of scenery once in a while, peace, and the luxury of ordering pizza when the mood strikes… then surely we have everything we need. Anything else is a want.

And yet so often we focus on the ‘want’.

We give it our energy and time, all of which takes away from enjoying what we already have, or from doing something worthwhile, from making one tiny slice of the world a better place, rattling a cage or two, writing a letter, asking questions, demanding answers. All of which brings even more contentment.

If we have what we need, we have the power we need to be worthwhile, the ingredients for contentment, and so can turn our backs on the noise telling us to constantly want more, to be this or do that, what to buy, what to believe.

But I digress. This is really about the pleasure of brownies.

And simplicity.

Which always leads me to thinking about one of my favourite books, Alix Kates Shulman’s Drinking the Rain, in which she asks the best question:

how little do I need in order to have everything?


If you’re missing brownies in the everything, here’s a portal to bliss.

(Just add tea.)

*zucchini used in my version was locally grown last summer and frozen all winter and it worked better than fine