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January 01, 2010

New Year's Eve Salt Spring-style

This person may hold the dubious distinction of being the only guy I have ever literally "run" after, after meeting him for 10 minutes. We spent a mere 10 minutes together, if that, in the summer when he bought one of my photos from my market table. I saw him again at the market that day just a short time later heading for his Harley and it was just a feeling but I was compelled. "I can't just let him walk away," I said to myself. He was just off a meditation retreat from Stowell Lake Farms.

If he's here on island, I want to get to know him a little better I thought. He said he was heading to Gabriola but we would do lunch when he returned some day.Turns out he wasn't just being polite. He tells me that I am the only person he has ever purchased a photograph from and if you were to see his photographs you would know why. He says I should be honoured and I am.

 But, mostly, I'm thrilled to think that my first instinct about someone, that happened in less than 10 minutes, was working so well. We had a grand time today, at lunch and afterwards, and I don't believe I've ever started off a New Year so happily. He's headed once again to his brothers on Gabriola but if I'm meant to see him again, I will. He says he'll be back in August.

Last night while Byron was alone with his thoughts and his memories on the last day of his silent retreat having to work through what he describes as a little bit of boredom on the last evening of the year being alone, I did up New Year's Eve Salt Spring style. Fulford Hall was decorated to the max with lights and off white linen sheets hanging in billows from the ceiling.

Our entourage included Karin, Pauline and I. As soon as I arrived, I walked into a man I'd met at my job that day. He is new to the island. I invited him to join our table when I discovered that he had no where to sit.  It's so great to be part of a New Year's celebration where instead of only knowing the people you're with, you know so many people who are dancing around you.  The canteen was selling lentil soup, salad rolls and so many desserts: chocolate cake, cheesecake, apple/bumbleberry pies. Beer and wine tickets. It was a fundraiser actually, for a thing called Wolf Kids, a naturalist program that emphasizes the significance of gaining knowledge to be able to be comfortable in the natural world and gaining survival tools that one would assume translate to the man-made world.

When the music started with Harry Manx's back-up band and an amazing singer named Emily, the dance floor was packed almost immediately. Pauline was up at the front, Karin was dancing beside me and the guy I'd met that day became my steady dance partner. Five hours disappeared really quickly. 
Harry Manx's music has got a middle-eastern twinge to it and it's great for dancing.

In true Salt Spring style, Valdy came up on stage around midnight. He had on a tye-died shirt, his trademark red suspenders and a kermit toque with little kermit frog legs hanging out the side. He joined the band and did the count down, hugs and kisses, and the dancing continuing on for an hour after that.

I crashed at Pauline's. It's heaven to sleep upstairs in her loft surrounded by birds nests and quilts and the wonderful light from the meadow out the front streaming in while the raindrops are pounding against the skylight. I was woken up by Griffin and Maggie, (the dogs) needing to be let out by Pauline.  We had coffee and toast and laughed about the previous evening. Around 10:30 am, I headed in to have a shower and get ready for my auspicious, eagerly-anticipated meeting with Byron and just halfway down the hall, my bare foot stepped on something cold and squishy. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!   GRIFFIN! You bad dog! 

I ask you, Is it good luck or bad luck to step in a piece of dog shit on New Year's morning? I'm thinking, as Byron said, the first mis-steps of the New Year are over. Let's hope it's all good from here!

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