Another last minute idea seized Mira when she realized how long it had been since she'd visited her siblings in Canada and an invitation for a Canadian Thanksgiving gathering was too tempting.
She set out late at night after a tango dance hoping to make it to another dance the next night but that did not happen because she landed in the middle of a trio of drunk drivers coming from every direction and was lucky to get away with just a rear bumper smashed as she waited for the main accident to clear.
However, her confidence for driving long distances was shattered as well as for driving at night since she now graphically realized the ratio of inebriated to sober drivers is not a healthy situation.
She was not proud of her reactions under the stressful accident conditions and it gave her pause to know that her edge was not what it used to be, that she couldn't and shouldn't be trying to keep such a gruelling pace, even self-motivated. Mira's initial inclination was to cancel the trip and head home but her son and brother encouraged other options and she settled on flying north.
The change of plans resulted in more time being hosted by her kids on the way to Vancouver Island, sampling their latest recipes from fall harvests, and enjoying their company as well as the grandoggies. Rhubarb stood by playing good nurse while Mira pulled herself back together to carry on, and Ella regaled her with enthusiastic kisses and cuteness in her Halloween sweater.
Now the eldest of five since Paul the youngest died ten years ago, Mira is assuming the role of family elder passing the organizational baton to sister Joan the visionary who makes unusual events happen. Everyone plays their role exquisitely and she loves each of them more for their differences.
Mira is the only one to have left this beautiful island and loves reconnecting with each family and the land they call home.
Food preservation and preparation for the festivities was in high gear and Mira was swept into the industry which connected her with Baba, Mother, and the aunties of earlier times. It was good to see the traditions carry on and to know that her son wants to learn the recipes of their family roots though he didn't experience the food in his childhood.
Joan generously gifted the remaining copy of the traditional recipes used by the women of the previous generation to Noah, the family foodie who senses the doughy, buttery, cheesy food traditions in his genes.
Family is the only possibility that would bring this disparate group to a bushwhacking, tree planting, Thanksgiving memorial festival in freezing British Columbia conditions. Almost crushed by the weight of Joan's heaped bedding Mira survived the cold nights with toes intact.
Set in a new permaculture DIY project of the next generation they all pitched in with the aid of heavy equipment and planted a grove of trees in honor of their dear brother, right near the composting toilet.
Mira was assigned cooking duty (the only warm job) and was happy to oblige though her skills are lacking. She also managed to harvest tomatoes for future processing and mycorrhizae for the plantings. Since the crew worked so hard, any warm food was welcome at the end of the day, even Mira's, though she does think it all turned out quite well given the limitations of outdoor propane stove facilities.
Mira met her dear friend and roommate from university at the ferry dock and they hiked to Caroline's finely crafted cottage on Salt Spring Island, a small island off Vancouver Island. Her spot is a peaceful, rustic setting steeped in over a century of family history.
Caroline's accordion melodies woke Mira's body and wrapped her heart in sweet lyrical perfume.
The love of land and place is evident in the island Native paths, the gardens, schools, homes, forest wiccan circles and is sweet respite from busy highways.
It was a rare and special occasion of open hearted sharing of food, love, kindness, caring, history, hope, and multigenerational connection that renewed Mira's spirit for venturing into the ever darkening unknown ahead.
She is enriched by the circle of connection, the handing off of traditions, the renewal of kindred laughter and knowing, the spending time with those who have known each other the longest, and share what matters most.
This chapter began with a tiny crash and ends with an unimaginable explosion that keeps Mira mesmerized. Though it took place one hundred and thirty five million years ago, the message just reached us and is turning the astrophysics world upside down with enormous amounts of data to mine.
This news worthy event seems barely a blip amidst our political/cultural struggles, the beams in our eyes. So Mira will do her part in promoting this breathtaking creative collision out of which planet sized pieces of heavy metals were born. Even the physicists couldn't help adding a musical score to the grand event.
Perhaps we could convince Trump and the billionaire one percent to build a rocket to one of those platinum planets where they can have it all to themselves ... tax free, hey even government free - another kind of going home to what matters most! To each his own, but further away is better for us.