A couple of days before our tree fell, I planted over 120 cloves of garlic for me and 80 for my friend Pat. I had some time to think about all the posts I didn’t write this month.
Although I used to wonder what people ever did ‘for fun’ in a little village, I have to say that now I know that so many events and activities happen in a month that it’s not possible to take part in everything let alone write about it all.
Still, I would like to share with you some of the events that happened here to me in October.
I belong to a small, but dedicated meditation group in Bear River. We meet on Wednesday evenings and meditate for 45 minutes, and take turns reading from and talking about a variety of Buddhist texts. For 2 years we’ve discussed bringing a monk in to talk to us about meditation and spirituality. And that’s how Ajahn Kusalo wound up coming all the way from his Tisarana Buddhist Monastery in Perth Ontario to Bear River.
It was my first meeting with a monk. Hearing his description of life in a monastery was fascinating. Hearing his take on the Buddhist teachings we’ve been reading was enlightening! During the time I spent with him and the others who came for his talks, I felt like I had travelled to another place.
A few of us went for a walk with him on the Bay of Fundy on a particularly mysterious-looking day with the fog rolling in and the fog horn sounding. Ajahn Kusalo was very picturesque in his flowing burnt-sienna robes.
It seems strange to me now to come all the way to this remote part of Canada to meet my first monk, but I’ve had many ‘firsts’ in Bear River.
During the very same weekend, a group of hard-working volunteers, led by volunteer-extrordinaire Simone Wilson, put together a fabulous program in Bear River as part of a cross Canada Culture Days event. I was so sorry that I couldn’t be in two places at once, but I did manage to enjoy some of the events at Fall for Bear River.
Volunteers such as Bonnie McLeod decorated the village with whimsical and seasonal figures.
There was a 17th century encampment set up to give us an idea of what life was like for the Acadian French who were probably the first Europeans to come to Bear River (other than perhaps a few Vikings centuries before).
Jenny’s husband Jayar showed us how to sharpen knives.
I was beginning to think I had time travelled to the 1700’s when a woman floated by in her kayak. Later, I attended her going-away potluck dinner party where poetry and prose on the subject of journies were read aloud. It was very touching.
Storytelling was part of the weekend too. The Mi’kmaq have lived in Nova Scotia for thousands of years and there is a L’ sitkuk Community in Bear River. Teachings about living in the forest were shared at the waterfront and I learned how to cook stew in a carved out tree without a pot.
Unfortunately, the weekend rain reduced attendance this year, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of either the enthralled visitors or the many hosting volunteers.
One of the websites in Bear River that I manage received this comment about the event:
My husband and I, together with two guests from the Caribbean country of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, spent time at your Fall for Bear River event this afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed the reenactment, the recreated Mi’maq Village with the extraordinary cultural interpretation, the presentation on medicinal herbs, the 1700s living history encampment, the antique canoe show, the Maud Lewis Exhibition and the historically themed dinner. Thank you for providing many special memories for us all. We can only try to imagine the time, effort and expertise that went into planning and executing such an event! It speaks volumes about the strength of your community!
The month also saw the end of the garden. (Except for the odd leek, cabbage, a bit of broccoli, and some tiny brussel sprouts). These cherry tomatoes ripened slowly and there are still a rare few left. I am going to miss such ready-access to fresh food.
Both Larry and I showed our work this month, and we travelled to Halifax in a one-day whirlwind fashion to check out the annual show of the Nova Scotia Metal Arts Guild and to pick up Larry’s two awards.
It’s a 6 hour round trip to Halifax which is doable, although it means driving home in the dark. But because we don’t get to see colourful ‘city lights’ at night anymore, it was kind of cool to see these on the way home. I guess that’s what happens when the usual becomes the unusual.
Meanwhile, back at home I took advantage of the last days of Fall and started the largest painting I’ve ever done…and especially the largest ON LOCATION painting. Our little Sumach grove was in its peak of colour so I dragged out my 4′ x 6′ canvas and held onto it tight with one hand, while painting with the other. The severe gusts of wind were warnings of the storm that was coming.
However, Larry and I didn’t know about the coming storm; we just knew that the weather was warm and what better place to watch the cloud formations change than from the hill in front of our house.
There was another live concert to attend at the Rebekah Hall… this time with Caleb Miles and Harvey Marcotte. Concerts are generally $15, 3 blocks from home and include tasty fair trade Sissiboo Coffee and shared homemade treats by donation.
Throughout the month we talked to the ‘kids’ over the phone, on Skype, through google chat and caught up with each other by email, twitter and Facebook. Social media has totally changed the ease of accessibility and altered the reality of living so far away from each other.
While the Occupy movements developed, our Jesse worked hard to re-elect his local NDP candidate.
And Emily made plans for her next trip / show / studio / move. And one of her decisions would come as an early Christmas present for us. 😉
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon