Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Adapting to the letter W

Yesterday, Bill looked up some unusual words that begin with "X" and we found themes around us that suited those words. This morning, I checked the ABC Wednesday site and guess what?  It's letter "W" week!  So, I'm doing some quick adaptations, and smiling because it all seems like it was meant to be :)

As we worked on our crossword puzzle yesterday, a Bob Seger song was one of the clues.  "Against the Wind," Bill said, without a moment's hesitation.  I don't know where that came from," he smiled, "except that I really like the song."  Though we didn't finish the crossword, his answer was correct.  Perhaps, you will click on the video and let it play as you read the post.  I think it makes a great theme for letter "W" week. 

  I like to use a few new(ish)  words on ABC Wednesday, so here are some that I found at an "unusual words that begin with W" site:

1. walty - inclined to tip or lean
2. waftage - transportation through water or air
3. wankle - unsteady or unstable
4. watchet - pale blue
5. wapenshaw - periodic gathering to evaluate readiness of men for combat
6. waits - musicians employed for ceremonial occasions

Yesterday, as I walked Black Jack past a spot we see every single day, I noticed someone gathering bits of leaves and placing them carefully around the flower garden.  .
Waftage was constant as the wind carried the leaves to new positions.
I asked him what he was doing, and he answered that it was a theatre project.  The goal was to see if anyone noticed this small change to a familiar environment. I'll never know for sure if I would have noticed the leaves if I hadn't seen the gentleman place them there, but I think they would have caught my eye.  (Just an aside - I liked the fence in the background for its X potential, but with a little imagination, perhaps you will see some W's.) 
After lunch, Bill and I biked the entire distance around the Stanley Park Seawall, a milestone event in his back-to-health progress.  We stopped by the heronry for a few moments.   Chaos reined in the nests as juveniles squabbled and nagged to be fed.  This harried parent..  
looked to the sky even as the..
desperate youth begged for more.
The adult rose determinedly through a maze of branches..
towards a watchet (pale blue) sky, gradually finding space but little relief.
He flew literally and figuratively "against the wind" in a perpetual effort to provide sustenance for endlessly hungry teens. 
We stopped here because I saw X's in the sails, but now, the waftage theme (travel through water or air) keeps the photo relevant.
While I take photos, Bill tries to satisfy all of Black Jack's wants while keeping her safe.  That, as with the adult herons, is an "against the wind" project but he soldiers on.
My heart wobbled as I watched him lift her to see over the cement divider.
I saw an X in this cormorant's shape but the waftage word works again.
We stopped by the Lions Gate Bridge, and l looked up to see a cyclist traveling a route I did many times during my bicycle commute years.  This fellow's walty (inclined to lean) position reflects what I imagine was an "against the wind" ride.
Both the wind and the waves.. 
were against this cormorant..
but persistence paid off.  So often, we think we are traveling against the wind and imagine all is lost, only to realize in retrospect that our efforts have made us stronger.
Watchet skies, 
and wafting clouds framed a walty bridge.
This police boat roared through the water at crazy speeds.  I imagined an emergency.  Bill thought the destination was more likely Tim Horton's :)
We spent time admiring the lighthouse, and read about its history here.
It wasn't really as walty as my photo shows.
Bill tucked a towel into Black Jack's collar so that 
she would feel warm, even as we traveled into the wind.  Black Jack accepts his care as her due, but I never take it for granted.
We came across the drum circle and I saw X's in the straps the musicians wore to support their drums.  We had also learned the word "xylophilous" which means fond of wood.  More about that next week, but the "wood" word works, and another of those new "W" words comes to mind.  You can read about waits or waites here, as related to a gathering of musicians.
Here's where the word wapenshaw (periodic gathering to evaluate readiness of me for combat) word comes in.  I know these drum circles are meant to celebrate summer and draw people together, and war doesn't enter the picture, but..
there is a feverish pitch of excitement that rises steadily through the air, and to outside observers (like, for example, the wildlife that I fear are disturbed by these gatherings), surely some might wonder whether there is anger rather than joy in the atmosphere. 
Bill and Black Jack waited for me while I took the photos..
and then we traded places.  Black Jack and I watched Bill check out the goings on.  You can see him at the edge of the walking path, shielding his eyes from the sun.  Black Jack kept her eyes on him the whole time. He remarked when he returned that one fellow seemed to control the drum patterns.  When that man blew his whistle, the pulse slowed or quickened.
For the second time yesterday, chaos appeared to have free rein, 
but looking at the photos this morning..
the words of Bob Seger's song feel appropriate.  You can read all of the lyrics here..
but I'm choosing for this post to focus on the last stanza, one that is positive in tone for me.
Well those drifters days are past me now
I've got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

Against the wind
I'm still runnin' against the wind
I'm older now but still running
Against the wind
Well I'm older now and still running
Against the wind 

 After all, flowing with the wind may seem to be a good thing, but one's freedom of choice is taken away.  Greater strength comes from a bit of bucking the trend, don't you think?  And the bottom line, the clincher, the one that I celebrate every minute of every day is that We're still running.  I'm not wankling (unsteady) at all in my thought that that's got to be better than the alternative.  Happy Wednesday to each one of you.  Enjoy the wind :)


  1. What a wonderfully evocative, delightful post. You introduced me to several new words! I live in Kamloops, but the sea wall is always a destination when we go to Vancouver. I love the picture of Black Jack's head gazing forward to the cycling, walking vista before him. Wind and waves, what more could anyone want?

  2. Lovely shots.
    So does this mean you're all set for X?

  3. your w words are interesting. i knew waftage, but some of the others... :)

    i like black jack in her swaddling clothes. and the herons and cormorants, too.

  4. Some new-to-me words here. Great heron photos. We had one fly over our house yesterday. He live on the creek. I've never seen two together so I don't know if he has a mate.,

  5. Excellent post, I really enjoyed the word play, all new to me. Beautiful heron series and as always Black Jack is a star.

  6. The ABC meme certainly challenges the grey cells, that's probably why I just read yours rather than participate. I think I would spend hours each day at that heronry. There is always some activity happening.

  7. Absolutely wonderful post. I love the heron in flight and all the rest. I don't have a post this week for ABC Wed but am visiting for the team. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  8. It was windy here today and Bob Seger's song, Against the Wind, was very appropriate. It is also one of my favourites. I particularly appreciated the photo of the harried momma heron gazing skyward and begging for strength. Many Moms could relate to that moment.

  9. What a wonderful post! I loved the photo of Black Jack in his warm towel and woven basket! Bob Seger's "Against the Wind" had always been a favorite of mine.

  10. LOVE all of these photos. Especially the blue heron shots!! And that Bob Segar song is one of my all-time favorites :-)

  11. I love Bob Seger and Against the Wind! Wonderful series of photos.. The rookery shots are some of my favorites along with cute Black Jack! Have a great evening!

  12. Bob Seger is going to be at a local outdoor theatre here this summer, really enjoy this song. I really am impressed with the new "W" words and how you used them.

  13. Such a great post for the letter W. And lovely pics.