Beauty where you find it


I am writing in my favourite chair in my sister's living room on their acreage northeast of Grande Prairie. The rising sun is over my left shoulder. I see broken cloud and a muted sun. The birds are quiet this morning. Yesterday, which broke cloudless and sunny, they were all singing. It's almost 8 am and the rest of the household is still quiet, too, in bed resisting the call to get up.

We arrived here one week ago. We left our former home in Okotoks for the final time three weeks ago. 

The delays we have experienced with our home build are common. At least, that's what everyone says that has gone through the process. We had hope to be settled into our new home by now. We're still an indeterminate number of days, possibly weeks, away. 

All that said, progress is being made on all fronts. The team at SEED Homes is marching full steam ahead as work continues to secure our development permit and troubleshoot supply chain issues. We get daily updates from back at the manufacturing facility in south Calgary and pictures.

Meanwhile, we find things to do every day here in Alberta's north, which is getting a fair amount of attention as the major centres up here are becoming the landing ground for thousands of evacuees from NWT. I heard that 800 or more are in Grande Prairie, or soon will be. Yesterday's big news was a mandatory evacuation of Yellowknife by noon Friday. 

Heather and I visited the Grant Berg Gallery in downtown Grande Prairie yesterday. Grant and I served together on the Premier's Council on Culture about a decade ago. He is an artist himself, a former radio guy, gallery owner and city councillor in GP.
We had a lovely chat and were inspired being surrounded by artworks by incredible creators like Steve Coffey, Jeff Dillon, Emily Lozeron, and Robbie Craig. 

I go out into the forest with my camera multiple times a day, always finding beauty. Standing in the tall grass alongside the creek that runs through the forest, a single chickadee appeared. It seemed to be engaging with me, flying incredible close and landing on a bush to my left.

My sister has written about her connection to the birds, particularly the chickadees, and their willingness to fly right up and accept her offerings of shelled peanuts. I reached into my pocket and found a half a peanut that I had put there days before. I placed it in the palm of my hand. Seconds later, that same chickadee appeared, gently gripped its talons around the soft fleshy part of my hand and grabbed the peanut. 

Beauty is found all around. A flicker hunting for worms in the grass early in the morning.
A couple of fence posts in the forest.
The view of the driveway set against the background of the eastern sky.


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