Wonderings on the Wharf

“I should like, when I am through with this body and my spirit released, to float up those wonderful mountain passes and ravines and feed on silence and wonder – no fear, no bodily discomfort, just space and silence.” –Emily Carr (Hundreds and Thousands)

I received a well-loved copy of the book Hundreds and Thousands; The Journals of Emily Carr for Christmas and have been very inspired by Carr’s deep thoughts and connections to nature. So inspired in fact, that I went for a walk the other day down the Salmon Arm wharf in -17C weather, my hands clad in homemade mittens, gripping the tattered book so that I could read her words in the proper setting - surrounded by mountains and water. The cold snap had driven all other inhabitants away from this usually popular spot and I was completely alone. The sun was beginning to set making the mountains glow a beautiful pink. Just as I pulled out my phone and snapped a few pictures the screen went black as the battery died. Gone were all distractions, it was just me, the mountains, and the musings of Emily Carr replaying in my head and frozen in my hand.

The lake had iced over and as I stood at the end of the wharf I was initially struck by the utter silence of it all. Everything was still, quiet, and calm. The more I listened, however, I began to hear the creaking and groaning of the ice as it rubbed against the sturdy beams of the wharf. It occurred to me that underneath the thick ice the lake was moving and the water was filled with all sorts of activity and life. My spirit seemed to groan along with the ice at the discomfort of stillness yet the anticipation of what is bubbling under the surface.

I am excited for 2017 and all that is to come in the New Year even though at the moment I feel as though my life has come to a bit of a standstill. Opportunities seem to be waiting under the surface, yet I do not feel quite ready for those warm winds of change to come and release them. As I left the frozen wharf, snow crunching under my feet, I began to quietly sing one of my favourite Sam Cooke songs and his timeless lyrics seemed to match the mood of the ice splintering behind me “it’s been a long, a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.” 

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