A summer girl I truly am. Born in August on the same day as my loved one, it is a time I always hold dear to my heart. This was an exceptionally special summer I will never forget. Endless days of sunshine. Celebrations and gatherings. Ocean swimming, day trips, road trips, and camping.
Filled with beauty, vitality and rare weeks of warm dry weather, I relaxed into a long season of enchanting celebration and discovery.
I watched sunsets and moonrises. Saw deer, eagles, racoons, herons, osprey, and even whales blowing off the shore of Bonniebrook Beach.
We watched fisherman where the rivers edge met the ocean near Roberts Creek, and children dare to leap into the space between the pier and the sea below at Davis Bay.
At certain milestones in our lives, we must take stock of all that matters to us. Ascertain what truly gives us joy, express gratitude for all that we are thankful for and really focus on all that makes us the most content, beautiful productive person we can be. This summer I committed to making the most of every ‘summery’ moment our beautiful British Columbia had to offer! I found this beautiful book with my shop in mind, but decided I must keep it! With a delicate robins eggs blue cover juxtaposed and great First Nations graphics, it’s a wonderful anthology of my roots and a momento of this summer I will cherish.
I’ve been able to take breaks from being ‘a shop girl’ to get out and explore this wonderful provence of ours ( of course exploring ALWAYS means treasure hunting for the shop too! ) thanks in large part to my sister Janet who returned ‘home’ from Italy a year ago and is helping out in our thriving bustling new boutique location!
Even when I was working in the shop it still felt like a holiday. Our tall lofty new space with 21 foot windows has so much sunlight streaming in we never had to turn on our lights on!
My signature light and airy, watery palette could not have been more fitting this season. I embraced a breezy coastal boho meets modern Cape Cod kind of mood.
I spent evenings in the city painting al fresco on my patio, watering the garden in peaceful bliss, dining outdoors and lounging with my beloved cat griffin who loves the sun too!
I foraged for driftwood, seashells and treasures, and gathered fruits and berries.
Invented blackberry cobblers with lavender culled from my own garden and berries picked on my walk home each evening along the railroad ties of the community garden.
I’ve wandered on many walks with my beloved partner Craig with whom I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Found starfish and even a vintage star shaped cookie cutter waiting for me at the waters edge on rare high tide in West vancouver!
We stayed up the Sunshine Coast at a magical B&B with horses, peacocks, cats and emus all coexisting together. The setting is a fabulous mix of new and old, with a modern open airy gallery guest suite situated on a dreamy pastoral property.
There were many gatherings. As part of my/our ‘birthday week’ Craig and I ate fish and chips in my family home ( thanks mum! ) with visiting dear old friends from childhood days and indulged in my favorite must have traditional BON TON Diplomat cake!
With family, friends and a Rose Veuve Cliquote gifted by my fabulous cousins we wandered down to the beach I grew up at. Then plunged into the sea, that was unusually warm and inviting at sundown.
We shared most amazing meal at Heirloom Vegetarian along a harvest table, family style with another dozen of our close friends who showered me with cards, flowers and hugs.
We went to a delightful hoe down hosted by a dear client of ours, camping amongst horses and hay bails after a wonderful fete at foothills of Pemberton.
It was so much fun to discover how treasures from our boutique made a home for themselves in their gorgeous garden shed and rustic sleeping quarters.
We swam in almost every lake on the sea to sky drive back down to Vancouver,as did many others. I’ve always been an ocean girl but craig is a prairie boy so lakes call to him.
A week left in August, and my hydrangeas are turning a tinge of rosiness. This signals the arrival of our ‘Indian Summer’, a transitional time that hovers before Autumn. A beautiful time yet one that stirs up melancholy for me as it harkens to the shorter days ahead. Yet I cannot be greedy for I have truly soaked in all I could!
As an artist I try to capture these small and simple joys of life and install them into my work, my paintings, my photos and words, even my vignettes in the shop. It is the way that I connect, but also how I preserve and incapsulate my memories. So this is my ode to an enchanted summer filled with long light evenings spent with those dear to me, to delicate moments exploring in nature, to exuberant squeals of joy when my warm skin met fresh sea, when fingers found the perfect berry or seashell, when eyes caught a whale surfacing or eagle soaring.
There’ve been serendipitous chance meetings and some magic mixed in for sure too. I feel gifted and grateful to have experienced it all. When reflecting on how I wanted to spend my milestone birthday I realized how fortunate I truly was, for it was not so different than how I spend my every day life, there was nothing I needed to escape from, I had everything I needed already around me. Love. Family. Beauty. Warmth. Abundance. Vitality. Expression. Nature. Creativity. Shelter. Hope. Joy. All of which is pretty remarkable.
All images copyright Heather Ross 2013
Wall mounted ‘Water’ discs as seen in photo above created by Heather Adair