April showers

It’s been raining quite a bit these days, which I secretly love and hope for, despite practicality vying for clear skies. Not necessarily sun, just a dry day in which my boots can confidently skip a mile or two towards nipping goals in the bud, which, given my current unruly circumstance, is due time.

But I can’t complain. It’s Friday afternoon, my roommates have scurried at — which, to my sleepyhead, ¬†was — the wake of dawn, and here I am, alone again in the quiet corner of my cozy abode, my coffee black and bitter, with the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering against my window for friendly company — a sure greeting with solace.

I once contemplated the reason underlying my aversion to warm, sunny days, when everyone around me was praying to the cheeky gods of spring blooms, for perky weather fit for sun tan kisses and golden glows. “Euyuck,” I’d squint my eyes in disgust, tongue escaping my mouth for want of culinary freedom, like a sick child who’d just taken a teaspoon of nauseating cough drop syrup.

Yet, somewhere in the nooks and crevices of the person that is me, I understood: It was the discrepancy between the external world and my internal landscape. How far-fetched I was from bright, sunny skies and the sight of children playing hopscotch on sidewalks, ice cream cones in hand, laughing freely and unapologetically. Me, myself, and I — a sure stranger in this matrix, a plethora of sanguine bodies and colourful spirits.

It was on rainy days that my vulnerabilities would peek their newborn head into the room and kiss surrounding furniture with shy, childlike greetings. These were the days that showed promise — that the universe was with me in my moments of darkness, and that somehow the sky had understood, and was holding my hand in unison and silence. Today, I revel in it.

Shoutout to my homegirl, Jo

The battle of blue vanilla scones vs strawberry cheesecake buns

Blue vanilla scones for two

Matcha scones — the biggest scones I ever did meet

A visit to Ottawa, Little Jo Berry’s, March/April 2017

No matter where I am in the world — even after relocating to a different city — I always seem to find my way back to my hometown in Ottawa, to Little Jo Berry’s for Jo’s scrumptious vegan treats. Because maybe, just maybe, home is where the tummy is.

I’d mentioned Jo’s before — everything she bakes at her vegan bakery is sprinkled with funk, dedication, and passion. And while I’m not vegan myself, time and time again I’d somersault a mile for her scones, especially my beloved matcha, and, just recently, the blue vanilla, as she makes the most divine scones in the world — so much so, that I’d choose them over their non-vegan counterparts any day. (I’ve eaten a great many scones in my time; in fact, I’ve become a walking scone with four limbs.) They’re melt-in-your-mouth soft, with a moist crumble on the inside and the ideal level of sweetness.

When living in Ottawa, it was tradition for me to pre-order scones from Jo, enjoy one on site with a cuppa coffee on the morning of pick-up, and then bring the box home to my family. Little moments like these — bringing treats home to loved ones and sharing laughs with my favourite local baristas — have long been associated with feelings of home for me. That’s why, returning to my happy places — my long-time sacred nests of fond memories and solace — when visiting Ottawa, and recreating such moments, is always a heartwarming feat.

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Being back at Little Jo Berry’s recently, where eternal friendships were birthed, and seeing M — stunning as always in her casual yet sleek and sophisticated outfit, fit for a powerful feminine woman of the modern era — and her bright blue, oceanic eyes and warm smile that can set any room ablaze, and seeing Jo — her unicorn hair, a sassy palette of dancing shades of blue, pink, and purple — and hearing her roaring lioness laughter, meant that I was once again at my happy place.

As with any other day I find myself back in Ottawa, and at the same old memorable places, I knew and understood: Nothing in life was promising, yet there was the heart’s forever-companion, named Trust, that would always stand at the same street corner, under the same moon, waiting patiently for one’s return. That was home.