Saturday, June 22, 2013

West Coast Summer Solstice: Quaker Gray

Boots: Ecco; Dress: Soprano; Camisole: Reitmans; Hat: from Barefoot Contessa ; Jacket, purse, earrings, necklace: vintage; Large Ring: Birks: Small ring: Mikel Grant
Summer Equinox got it all wrong this year. This was supposed to be the day with the very most sunlight in the whole year. But this is the West Coast. So it was gray. That's how it works here. It's gray. A lot.

So, when you think about it, Summer Equinox got it just right... for here.

Personally, I've learned to find incredible beauty in our gray coast. I fell in love with it when I was a six year old immigrant here, and I love it still.

When I look up at the slate gray mountains across the slate gray water, veiled in softer gray mist and clouds, I feel a deep sense of wonder and mystery, like I'm breathing in something mystical, maybe even divine.

 I like this photo because I think it makes me look like a little old lady.
Yes, sometimes I do trudge along in the grey and rain and feel a little brought down, but not as much as you'd think.

Classic Quaker image: The Presence in the Midst

Besides, I was raised Quaker. Quakers traditionally wore nothing but grays, whites, and blacks. If a Quaker lady can't learn to like gray, she's doomed.

Finding the mystical, the wondrous, and the divine within quiet, subdued simplicity is the Quaker way. It suits me sometimes.

My God, I still have cheekbones! What a nice revelation.
Though even this subdued outfit would not pass Quaker muster. Not with the lace, the green hat...

... and the jewelry.

It's true that there is an odd sense of stoicism that comes from living with this much gray and this much rain, but it's nothing compared with the stoicism the rest of Canada needs to endure its winters.

And I felt a little bit tough and "street" in my sombre grays, silvers, and black leather.

Besides, even on the gloomiest of days here, gray is not actually the only colour.

There is also green. There is a LOT of green. The forests are dripping with it. We are, after all, a rainforest clime here.

I may have chosen this forest green hat as an unconscious way to harmonize with my home.

My beautiful chosen homeland.

And we locals find ways to spruce it up... our own way.

And, when the sun does come out, even a little, it looks like this here.

And this.

So there!

I'm linking this up with Visible Monday on Not Dead Yet because, well, I think gray should be visible too. 


  1. Nothing wrong with a little grey ;-)
    Your earrings are divine and I love the forest green cloche. Besides, there are many beautiful shades of grey. You're wearing some of them.
    For us right now it's sticky green heat with pops of color from the flowers. Time to stay inside!


  2. Did you notice that the earrings match the necklace? I got the set, which had been accidentally split up, for about $5 at a thrift store.

    I think there are many beautiful shades of gray too... and I am NOT referring that novel all the ladies (but me) are reading.

    That sticky heat I can't abide. It's big reason I moved back to my part of the world.

  3. Could use some nice cool grey over here. And you and the West Coast do suit each other!

  4. Very different from the pink I just saw you in! Working it well, here, young lady. I understand the urge to reinforce the personal connection with the forest and mist by letting them define your palette. Particularly with gray as a base ... every other color looks richer with it as companion. As you clearly already know!

    1. I'm about to have an interview published in which I'm asked to define my personal style. I asked my partner how he'd define it and the first word he gave was "eclectic." So, yeah, this one is very different from the last. I like to switch it up.

      I hadn't really thought in terms of gray making every other colour richer. You're right, of course, which is why this green hat looks nice.

  5. Love this article(blog?? lol) My fave colour is grey! I'm a born and bred Vancouverite and have often accredited my love of grey to that fact. The many greys we see through out the year, esp in fall & winter.....comforts, soothes and comforts me. Then you add in the intense, alive and vibrant greens! Voila! Magic!!!

    1. Thanks. I agree that the colours here are like soft, gentle magic. When last I lived away from here (to get my MA in TO), it was the winter colours I missed the very most. I wasn't born here but this is my heart's home.

  6. I simply adore this part of the world! Grey during winters, but green all year round and surrounded by the magnificent mountains and water. Nothing can be better for me... I grew up in Siberia, and now, looking back, I understand how hard (so much harder) life can be just because of the climate. This one is a very gentle climate...

    I love your green hat! And this ring is a beauty too. I too sometimes feel like a grey dress to blend with the surrounding nature. We are a part of it, after all. :)

    1. I started out life in a much colder part of North America and have lived in other harsher climates first. I think some people who grew up here don't realize how incredible it is here. "Gentle" is the adjective I'd use most often for our environment too, yet with a wild beauty beyond compare.

      Sadly, the green hat was stolen. I miss it.

  7. I don't think I knew you were in Vancouver! That us Vancouver, isn't it? In used to live in Seattle and sailed in and out of Vancouver for the Alaska season when I worked the cruise ships. Very similar weather to ours, although sadly, ours is worse.