Wednesday, August 30, 2006
SMOKE AND TANSY
"FOREST FIRE NEAR NELSON BC Aug 29. TMTV/BCTV KOOTENAYS -Nelson BC. Lightning has caused a forest fire near Duhamel Creek above the 6-mile area between Nelson and Balfour. It is estimated to be 25 ha in size. There are 30 firefighters and 4 helicopters fighting the fire. No structures are in danger at this time."
The smoke is from the fire described above, cribbed from the BCTV News site, which is where I get most of the local news now. The tansy is the plant from which the smell is released when it's tamped down by the side of the road, as it was when we stopped yesterday to have a proper gawk at the fire burning above Duhamel Creek. The smell of smoke and tansy is pungent and almost beautiful, except there's this little suggestion of poison that lingers when you take it in.
Duhamel is the creek my friend and I used to cross when we went to visit each other "the back way". This route took us along old roads, over scary bridges, and through bush dense enought to get lost in. It was a heavenly place to grow up.
It's strange to live in a part of the world where news still happens largely by word-of-mouth because we're not important enough, in the scheme of things, to rate a mention on the Evening News. Yesterday we found ourselves at 6-Mile. This is a part of the world that is sacred to me. It's not surprising it should call me when it's threatened, however distantly.
A photo that includes a sign that signals 6 Mile Lakes Road it is on the cover of my chapbook
This week began with a quick trip to Kelowna to see the plastic surgeon who operated on Mom's face again last week. He pronounced her doing well, hopefully next pathology report will show a positive result, and off we went for dinner. Both of us had beef, Mom the meatloaf and I the steak.
And this week appears to be ending with saying goodbye to our dear friend and neighbor, Kim, who moved next door with her husband about two months after Ted and I got married and I started living here full time. Kim has ovarian cancer, a terrifyingly sneaky, nasty, lethal, painful, just-plain-ugly disease, the very thought of which makes me shiver and wonder. My mother's good friend Edna had it, for about six months. Kim found out about hers just before Christmas last year. I had forgotton what sad feels like, something I can be very grateful for given the state of the world today. Knowing we won't get to drop over for coffee like we did about two weeks ago and sit down and laugh with her. Two weeks. And now it's a matter of days. I went over and talked to the horses today. Danny, who is always very stand-offish with me unless I'm feeding him or causing him to be fed, did an eye contact thing that was simply soul stuff. Here's a picture of Kyran going for his first horse back ride, on Spike, back in May.
Here he is, feeding them carrots.
Wishing you the finest of journeys, my friend. You'll be remembered so fondly, by so many, I don't have to tell you, but I will anyway.