Archive for canada

Love the logs

The great Vancouver landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander has passed away at the age of 99. I hadn’t realized until now how ubiquitous her work was in my beloved city. It was Oberlander’s idea, for instance, to set up “log seating” on our city’s beaches (in 1963). I visit her simple yet sublime design literally every day, on English Bay.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Oberlander’s “legacy of design [also] includes such iconic contributions to Vancouver’s public spaces as … Robson Square (1983), the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch rooftop garden (1995) and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre (2011). She also designed landscapes for the Vancouver General Hospital burn unit garden, UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the C. K. Choi Building.”

“May her memory be a blessing,” Mayor Kennedy Stewart wrote in a statement.

The Sunshine Coast tomato

My brother Chris Basil planting tomatoes on his farm in Gibsons, BC

Grateful days

So, Sunday was Valentine’s Day. Yesterday was a British Columbia holiday called Family Day. Already a one – two punch for lots of people, especially during the pandemic. I am trying to come up with a holiday for today to complete a trigger hat-trick. (A-Plus Day? Let’s Splurge Day? Beauties Day? Continence Day?)

Home

This is from late 1999, on my way to the clinic to get my staple-stitches out. I had injured myself trying to hop a curb with my bike: I tipped over, shattering my humerus, separating my shoulder, and breaking a bone in my neck. I was in the hospital for about a week.

It was an exceptionally sweet time for me, though. My care at St. Paul’s hospital was marvellous and friendly, and there was no bill. Lots of friends and colleagues and clients from work came by. My brother and his wife brought their kids. I enjoyed morphine for the first and last time.

I was still pretty new to Canada – born here but raised in the States, not returning until 1996. It was during this hospital stay that I saw manna falling from the sky – here, in Vancouver, BC. I was given such grace.

The photograph is by my dear and esteemed friend Lincoln Clarkes, who had brought two pies to my hospital room.

Thanksgiving

I’m lucky to be celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with two dear friends up the street later this evening. I love this holiday, and obey its name. So many blessings have filled my life.