My cousin raised her family just outside of Sidney by the Sea, on Vancouver Island. I fly out to visit when she and her husband move into their newly built home in a coastal setting I’d die for. The stunning view from her kitchen window is of Saanich Inlet and the Olympic Mountains. The moment I see it, I wonder through my jealousy, “With that view, how do you ever get anything done around here?” She laughs at me but I suspect the truth is, a splendid view can disrupt even the most organized woman.
I won’t know for sure until I live with a view of my own. One of the best views in Alberta is from my bunkhouse cabin on the north shore of Lesser Slave Lake. Although I look out at the same landscape, day in and out, nature works its magic and no two days are alike. Sunlight plays on the lake and the clouds work like paint brushes, a wisp here, a feather stroke there and in moments the canvas is altered.
It doesn’t take me long to realize, it isn’t only the view from my front window that causes me to pause, it’s happening everywhere. Driving down the lane to the highway a grouse sits on the shoulder. I watch it, watching me without a flinch. As I walk along the road that runs beside Devonshire Beach, I stop to take in the stunning contrast of white birch against blue sky, to take a closer look at the teepee structure left by playtime on the beach or snap a picture of a bright red, wild raspberry.
One morning, I cross Lesser Slave River in time with the rising sun. The multi-toned pink and red sky reflects its splendor on the water and creates the most glorious illusion. I glance, and then glance back again to see peonies, resplendent in full bloom, floating from shore to shore. The distraction almost sends me over the bridge’s edge.
The seasons pass and fresh spring greens mature to royal, rich velvet, then on to reds, oranges, and shocking yellows. Fall sneaks in to fool me by its glory as we head toward first frost. Early November, I wander from our bedroom to the front area of the bunkhouse and the most beautiful sight. The world is sparkling against the clear blue morning sky. Everything: the front deck, the Adirondack chairs, the rocks and the grasses are glistening in the sun. I stood still at the window, looking and thinking, “Wow.” That’s all, “Wow.” This is the sugar-sprinkled, icing-on-the-cake moment of the season.
By fall’s arrival, I am conditioned to anticipate the sunsets. I stop whatever I am doing to enjoy the show. No two nights are alike. I start to enjoy all the disruption and can’t think of a time I’ve felt more joyous.
I must share the news with my dear cousin; now I know am distracted by beauty.