the direction the ocean is nearest

Zephyr the thirteen-pound silver rabbit has been rattling her fence this week. She lifts it with her strong neck and yanks forward and back, heaving the bunny corral so it overlaps the hall. For added effect, she works loose the food bowl and flings it in the air. We’ve been letting the rabbits run amok (well almost- I did stop her eating a houseplant) around the house in the evenings, and this taste of freedom has got her fuzzy feet eager for more hallway leaps and exploring.

This morning I glanced up from my workbench towards the daylight and saw a wall of white mist where the street normally runs. The mist rolled in across the fields towards my house last night too, advancing from the direction the ocean is nearest. From my bed I could feel it surround the house like a blanket. The mild air glowed softly, tiny particles of water reflecting engulfed streetlights and house windows.

I’m still unraveling my nerves from my first stick-shift solo drive through downtown afternoon traffic. I stalled more times than all my previous stalls together, and each intersection left me a little shakier. For the record, I didn’t cry or get angry, just muttered curses and apologies to our good, forgiving little car. Some kindness of the car gods got me home, and I am -or like to think I am- gathering my courage for the next drive.

Today I heard about an island far north of here where when the raspberries are ripe the people on the island celebrated raspberries for five days by going from huge garden patch to huge garden patch, picking the ripe red drupelets, and then they make raspberry pies and raspberry pasta and drink last year’s raspberry wine. “Where is this place?” I asked, thinking it sounded like some kind of utopia. “Oh, it doesn’t show up on the map”. Later in life I will sail each island from Haida Gwaii to Alaska in search of teeming gardens and basketfuls of raspberries.

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