One of my weekly errands includes an afternoon at the Firehall Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. A short walk from home, an easier and cheaper option for accessing newspapers, books, and movies (in fact, as long as you return your items on time, there’s absolutely no cost). Browsing through the fast reads and parenting section I came across Living Simply with Children, by Marie Sherlock. The bent ears and yellow pages evidence the many hands that dug through its content. This handbook for a simple life resonates the attitude and spirit of a couple really dear to me, Anik and Stu.
Anik and I met volunteering at the VIMFF in 2008. It was one of those spark encounters. Someone new that feels so familiar. She laughs, she kisses, she hugs, she gesticulates, she operates this life on a different level. Placing well-being- her own and that of others and earth, at the core of life. She has intention in all she does. She keeps life simple and so charming. Besides making incredible crepes Anik is a weaver, with hands and soul. Her devotion goes from fiber source, natural dye, to the art of Saori weaving. You can visit the blog Fibre Sauvage to see Anik’s creations. Now, straight out of Auzzie comes Stu. With his slow-pace beach walk, amazing juice making skills, and a hell of a talent with woodwork. Their home is my favorite place in Vancouver. It welcomes you and drags you in… away from the city buzz, into a space of fresh scents and creativity. There is always something coking in the stove, clothes hanging on the line, and outdoor adventures to be shared and planned. They are the friends that open their doors at any time, lend you a bed, offer you tea, bake you a cake for your birthday… and make it special whenever you’re together. They are the friends you seldom find and when you do, you stick them with glue.
This post brings to you an Auzzie magic story of discovering places and finding yourself:
Possum Magic is written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas. It takes us into the Australian bush, and over on a wide journey through the country with a hop over in Tasmania. Possum Magic portrays the relationship between grandma Poss and Hush, her young grand-possum-child. Grandma Poss uses her magic tricks to make Hush invisible, which allows her to take on adventures she wouldn’t otherwise. But one evening Hush wishes grandma Poss could make her be seen again… and this is when their journey begins.
Grandma Poss will do what it takes, she will travel the earth and sail the seas in order to find the magic trick that will make Hush visible again. She knows the magic had something to do with eating human food… every stop brings a different bite. The illustrations are detailed and softly coloured. It brings Auzzie terms and Auzzie cooking to the quest. I love how the story unfolds, how it unveils Auzzie ways of being and its fauna, and the fact that shows a relationship of trust, devotion, and adventure, between grandma and grand-daughter. Our relation to others are a part of who we are. Family, friends, partners, children, they each mark and change us in unique ways. They each bring out different flavours to the surface. Anik and Stu are my friend and a part of the family I created away from home. They brings out laughter and remind me of the beauty of a simple life -and simply living. The moment is what there is to be lived. I treasure every bit and bite we have together and know we will continue to find each other, through long voice mail messages -back and forth, back and forth, to long hugs that stay with me.
Speaking of Australia and back to my note on getting special packages on the mail, yesterday I received one that traveled across the Pacific waters. It included a recently discovered treasure that turns out to be a must for baby bums: Lucas Paw Paw Ointment. Anik and Stu were the first ones to introduce me to this gem. It became my life saver. I was on the hunt for some more and the wonders of Facebook brought me in touch with Amelia, from Auzzie, who promptly packed a Paw Paw kit and a great Auzzie-style Bonds Wondersuit for Georgia, along with a beautiful note. Thank you so so much!