I wouldn’t call it an ‘obsession’, but I can’t stop watching the birds. They are curious and cute, they are pudgy and bossy, and these birds have been finding their way into my backyard for the last month. It has been a slow congregation of feathered friends and it has beautifully become my new ‘thing’ and a new source of peace for me in my life. This is a newfound joy that I had no idea even existed until my partner Thomas and I were handed the keys and stepped foot into our beautiful country home in West Point, Prince Edward Island.
Thomas asked me to be his wife on the night of the Super Moon , and shortly thereafter we moved into our country home: four bedrooms, on four acres with long driveway and a brook running just down from the house. In the backyard, there is a line of mature fruit trees; mostly apples and pears, and when you stand beside them in the backyard, and you close your eyes, you can hear the water running. When we first saw the house, our Newfoundland born real estate agent turned to us and said with a grin “Oh, you can fish down there b’y, pleanty of fish down there!”; we were sold.
We moved into our home and before long the snow fell, blanketing the entire property in a white down. Heavy snow that weighed on evergreen branches, you could still hear the brook run from the back deck, but I couldn’t help but notice: “Where are the birds?”. I moved all the way out to the countryside and I’d been here for at least a week, and no birds? I stood at the window for days with my coffee cup in hand waiting for any sign of movement. I started throwing pieces of leftover bread and bacon grease into the backyard, but we soon attracted a new orange kitty cat friend who we named Billy. Thomas told me that I wasn’t allowed to throw bacon grease in the back yard anymore, and we haven’t seen Billy since. Frig off Billy.
Not too long after, I was sitting on our big comfy red couch going over tour schedules for the upcoming year, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye: it was a Blue jay and he was the most brilliant shade of navy and gray against the snow on the back deck. I was so excited that I sprang off of the couch and he flew away. There was hope! We named him José and I made him a bird feeder out of a old 4 litre milk jug and hung it on a plant hook against the house. Rookie mistake.
We had received the most beautiful house warming gifts from the loveliest friends of ours: two beautiful bird feeders and a two huge bags of bird seed. I was over the moon! I couldn’t wait to see what these gifts would bring. For two whole weeks I stood at the window, coffee cup in hand and watched as the birds came pouring into our back yard; Blue jays, chickadees, pheasants, and little budgie like birds in all colors and sizes. It’s a new happy place for me, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
2016 was an amazing year of hurdles and new experiences: In the spring, I graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a degree in English Literature (on the Dean’s list…no biggie), I did a solo tour of England (which I never could have done without my dear pal Hedley), toured Canadian dates from Nunavut to Lunenberg with The Eastern Belles, drove across Canada for a solo tour, got engaged to my fella and bought our first home. It was a very busy year with music, but also personally. 2016 was the year that I learned about self-care and boundaries; I don’t know where to start to begin to thank Ashley Condon and Catherine MacLellan enough for their influence in that department. Touring in a rental van with these two amazing women for the last two years has taught me so much about loving myself and taking care of ‘me’. I’m looking forward to 2017, to more self-care and music to share with the world.
Today is also my 28th Birthday, and I am sitting in our living room in “the big chair” with a cup of coffee in hand, listening to CBC Radio Q as the fabulous KD Lang explores what it is to be a female voice the Music Industry and in the record business. The snow is softly falling outside around the fruit trees, and I can see the Blue jays roosting high within the branches looking like snow covered overripe fruit. They always do that when the snow comes down; I’ve got to find out why they do that…
I’m heading into the studio in April to record my fourth album, so stay tuned for that.
Also, WESTERN CANADA! I am coming your way in April as well. Stay tuned for those dates.