Sunday, 14 November 2010

Father son retreat

The bed is short, what a surprise. I sleep diagonal and wake up a few times stepping out in the cool air to relieve myself. Stars shining brightly and lots of them, not much light pollution here. Seabirds of unknown identity making their morning sounds, water like glass.
Morning comes and I am inspired by the eastern light seeping upward into the sky over Wallace. I love a good sunrise and this one bears the tidings of a great day to come. Matthew sleeps through it, I think he stayed up later than I reading by candlelight and (I hope) his headlamp.
If only I had had one as a kid!

I get a good fire going for our tea, and write my morning pages.
Seems like we will need more wood, so after a fruitless search for gloves we go at er. I have my camera and am constantly distracted by the abundance of fungi, yellow coral, witches butter and some numerous large and completely blackened mushroom carcasses, they turn out to be the Black and White Russula, Russula Albonigra .

Matthew has it in hand, mycillium encrusted fir rounds and a maul. He has a good pile going when I step in to relieve him. I split a few and he tells me he wants to take it all. What I see is the slope and humus piling up behind the half buried row of rounds creating a nice example of permaculture terracing. Seems like an opportunity to give something back to the land and increase the soil. We disagree and I decide to go for a walk, cameraless.
My explore takes me south along the beach then across the island onto some moss encrusted ridges. This island was logged maybe 100 years ago so the remaining big trees have had some time to grow. There are mushrooms galore, no shortage of diversity here. I see abundant Lobster mushroom, looking a little old but still attractive. Arresting! That bright orange is remarkable.

When I return, I am drenched in sweat and decide to jump in the ocean, removing my clothes first of course. The sun is shining after all. Man that water is refreshing whooee!
Make some lunch, we have a glass of wine and make peace.
While the water is so calm we carry the fiberglass canoe down to the water. I suggest circumnavigating the island clockwise. A new experience for Matthew, he has always done it the other way. Amazing how familiar territory looks different when approached from the opposite direction. The water is clear, no breeze, it is an effortless exercise. We pull in at the south end and follow the deer trails into an open area where we collect a relatively fresh Lobster mushroom and spot a not so fresh Eagle carcass. Me I'm game to pull some tail feathers or a wing and wow that head/skull would be awesome! It is all attached still and besides I haven't dealt with the feathers I mailed myself from New Zealand.... I leave it.
As we round the point and head back an Oyster Catcher is close by and out come the cameras.

After stowing the canoe we head off across the island. The trail is unfamiliar to Matthew, I am hoping we can locate some of the mushrooms I saw earlier. He is like a goat, clambering over the slippery rocks. This time I have my camera and get some great shots of Lobsters, Lactarius, clusters of some I don't recognize on a fallen fir, an Oyster growing on dead Arbutus and a large bracket high up in a Willow. We collect more lobsters for dinner and head back. Crank up the stove, chop veggies and combine it all in a stir fry extraordinaire. I get out the headlamp and eventually find the reference in the Mushroom book although there was never any doubt.
A glass or more of wine and more story telling, reminiscing and reflections of a life lived in multiversity, love and relationship, judgments and realizations.
I feel some sadness that my father has not spent this kind of time with me and a lot of gratitude I am spending it with my son.

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