Today was spectacular. The weather was great and and nice and warm for this time of year. I had enough time to get a Bowflex session in before heading off up the Island Highway to visit my friend Manjeet. I like long drives, listening to tunes blasting out of my rather good stereo, gliding in and out of traffic. And the scenery is quite spectacular. It’s a windy, twisty highway that starts at the verdant canyon floor, lined by towering cedars, following the course of a small river. Soon though, it climbs up the hillside wall, clinging to rock walls and plunging precipices. Bald eagles soar on the updrafts, and in the distance you can see other islands in the gray green sea at your feet, below. In an effort to curb the number of highway deaths, the province is installing concrete highway dividers. This has resulted in much fewer four lane sections so, although its slower, the traffic has become much safer. After the summit is reached, the landscape goes through some rolling countryside, where the small farms still manage to eke out a living. What has taken off is the wineries; there are a number of small estates, the land planted in grapes, wine tours, tastings and a whole tourist industry associated with it. Outside of the town of Duncan where we turn off from the main highway, I pull over at Hill’s Native Crafts, a landmark store around here famous for its Cowichan Sweaters. I look briefly at the beautiful carvings and masks but quickly head over to the back countertop. There I see a basket full of pouches. Most are pretty cheesy, stamped with a picture of a moose, or a killer whale, perhaps. But one or two are different. Black leather on a black string, the pouch is decorated with six strings of beads at its bottom. On one side of the pouch a disk of abalone shell has been affixed. Perfect. Back in the car I take the tag off the pouch and place the small green pebble and the pendulum into the pouch and place it around my neck. I stop at the vegetarian place in Duncan for a salad and continue through the back roads to the highway to Lake Cowichan. It’s a nice stretch of highway that was well engineered, pretty much no turnoffs or intersections, and you sail through walls of green forest under the shadow of the mountains that wall the valley. Up on those slopes, the scars of the cutblocks mar the beauty and remind me that this landscape is all so threatened. Manjeet has warned me about today’s project. He is getting something like 100 truckloads of fill delivered for his lower 40, raising the level of the floodplain down the slope from the house. At first the trucks are coming every 8 minutes, then they slow down as the afternoon wears on. Just a few days ago, they had a logger over to clear some of the deadwood – it’s a big property and the trees need a fair bit of attention. I did a little prep work for their next work project cleaning it all up in terms of dragging a few branches around and sorting out the bonfire material from the stuff destined for the fireplace. We had a great visit and had fun watching the dumptrucks – just like two little boys would. The drive home was just as smooth as the drive up. Finally I had a quick moment to google “divination with pendulums” so over dinner I was able to sort it out. Basically it can answer yes, no, or maybe to simple direct questions. It can’t be used to pick lottery tickets or for shady financial dealings. Questions about the future are not very reliable – too many variables. So the first thing to do is to ask the pendulum to show you the sign for each answer. I go up to the park and give it a try. Bingo. Right before my eyes the pendulum swings three different ways at each request. I repeat. Same results. I replace the pendulum into the pouch and ponder this on my evening walk. I feel that it has a strong and powerful force about it. I’ve never had any particular success with psychic abilities before but I’m certainly open to the concept. Maybe I’m more evolved now.