I’m sitting at Morning Owl Café in Kanata, the sun is shining in through the window and soft jazz music is playing in the background. My favourite barista Hannah just served me a brownie and latte, that I sip while reading my friend Veena’s thesis about the stories of Indian immigrant women who have come to Canada, each with a unique story and perspective, each with her own struggles to overcome and ways of understanding her new landscape and her place in it. I think about how lucky I am, and how life never makes much sense especially when you want it to the most.

Owls surround me, and beautiful greenery, a vine plant cascading down the bar, and swirling through other plants. Most of the customers sit and chat at tables, while the bar stools remain empty. The place has a chill vibe, and it’s a place I come to time and time again, and where I feel totally at home (…reminds me of my life in Toronto perhaps?). I come here for some much needed solitude, that often turns into a chance encounter and a bit of serendipity. The other day I met a woman here, around my age or slightly younger, that was reading a book of poetry. Well at first I wasn’t sure what it was – it was a red book with gold embossing – it just looked beautiful and ancient and out of place in this land of crisp new books and kindles. I asked her what she was reading and she said that it was a book of poetry – that it was pretty abstract and a lot of it hard to understand. She found a poem for me to sample called Peace, that I quickly read over and I agreed – very hard to understand!

I thought to myself – there is someone like me, on her own, just enjoying her own company for the evening. And then in strolled her boyfriend, or maybe it was her husband or fiancée, and she packed up her things and was gone in a heartbeat. I smiled then to myself as I’m doing now, and thought, it’s funny how we try and project ourselves onto others, that perhaps if they are secure in their lives, then we can be in ours. But we are all on different journeys, albeit sharing common threads.

Today I ask Hannah about her tattoo of a spruce tree that runs up her arm. She says that it reminds her of camping and family – it is stunning and peaceful. It used to have script under it, the words strength, dignity, and love lacing through the branches, but it got botched up and her tattoo artist had to fix it up.

I’m not much of a morning owl now that I think of it, much more of a night owl. When the clock strikes midnight, and most people are in bed, that’s when I come alive, that’s when my curiosity and creativity take hold of me, and I discover things. No distractions, no interruptions, just me and the stillness of the night. In the daytime sometimes I forget these wild forays into the depths of my soul, but somehow bits of it always come back to me.

Now I must return to my reading, and maybe even some writing, and hunker down here as long as I possibly can in order to avoid going back out into the -21 degree weather. (I had to actually look up the temperature – at home I yell “Hey google, what’s the weather?”).

Hope you are enjoying this cold winter day with a warm cup of tea… or whatever your favourite warm drink may be… and may the insight of the wise owl guide your day. :-)


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