a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Jun, 2014

Moment of bliss #017

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Moments of bliss

This is my view when I’m sitting on our back deck:

My view

This is what I usually see when I turn around.

I think about how long it took us to get to this point. Of course, I’m mostly referring to our massive reno. The planning of this particular part of the house was a mini-headache in itself, but that is all water under the bridge. Now, it is truly an oasis, even though it sounds cheesy to phrase it that way.

Sometimes I eat my breakfast out here, or share a glass of wine with Mark, but at the moment I’m sitting with a coffee at my elbow. Every once in awhile I zone out, stare into nothing. I take a deep breath, and then another, and return to my thoughts.

I look up into our maple tree. It was just a little thing when we moved here but it’s become a Tree Of Substance that gives us two storeys worth of shelter. The wind blows, shimmering through the leaves. It speaks in a long rustling whisper. A robin calls, and another bird I can’t identify sends a trill from our neighbour’s yard. These are messages being relayed, and I haven’t been invited to understand them.

The only distraction is the occasional hum of a car on the other side of the hedge and the footfall of passersby, but I can tune them out for the most part.

Piper curls up next to me and everything.is.good.

We sit amid sun-bleached couch cushions, wrapped in the fragrance of a bouquet of peonies I’ve placed into a jug that was given to us by a good friend. The smell of peonies is one of my happy smells, much like campfire, and charcoal grills, fresh bread, and freshly mown grass.

The peonies always remind me: what things will I miss most at the end of my life, and what can I do to fit more of those things into the time that I have? In a way it makes me glad I filled the vase with so many peonies. They’re almost all finished flowering and I won’t see them again for a whole year.

1 Response to "Moment of bliss #017"

1 | Ephemeral

June 11th, 2014 at 2:33 pm


Nice one. I enjoyed that.
It’s the odours that get into your soul. And never leave.
Peonies are on my list. As are plain old lilacs. Pine. Cedar. Ocean. Onions frying in oil. Baking. The first few minutes of a rain shower (wet dust).
You want to see and smell something amazing. Maplelawn garden RIGHT NOW. Lupins, poppies, sweet rocket, peonies, irises. So beautiful. You are transported back in time to a walled garden in the early 20th century…exactly as it would have been. Brand new big picnic table – perfect for a quiet outdoor family dinner. Or go early in the morning (sunrise). You will not regret it.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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