Monday, December 21, 2009


It is the winter Solstice - shortest day of the year, longest night. This is a summer picture of light on my sunroom floor. It will be months before the sun again shines at an angle which gives me these kind of shadows, but from this day forward, we begin tilting towards the light. Today the sun rose at 8:24 a.m. and set at 4:30 p.m. which means 8 hours and 6 minutes of day, 15 hours and 54 minutes of night. No wonder I am searching my files, looking for pictures of light, no wonder the little stone angel in my backyard is facing the east and warming a little bird in her hands. She is actually missing one wing and a halo, so she is kind of stuck here, with the rest of us, watching shadows change, doing mental math with minutes of sunlight. We have only a little fresh snow on the ground. Until recently it has been too cold for snow, but today, at noon, the sun was shining at just the right angle to make the new flakes sparkle. We look for light where we can find it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Forty Below Zero

"A hell of a night for a walk," the man I meet on the sidewalk says. It is dark and cold and we are both covered in so many layers of clothing that we would not know each other, even if we had met before, which we probably have. Both of us are walking fast, fast enough to make our own heat. The stars are crisp and the snow is, too. When winter like this sets in, I measure the temperature by the kind of squeak beneath my feet. It is very squeaky tonight. The closest I can come to taking a picture of cold like this, is the frost on my front windows. Still, I am walking each night, just me and the man who thinks it is hellish. Which it could be, were it not for the infinite sky - Orion striding southward, the moon a waning crescent, the crunch of my feet carrying me quickly through all this darkness. As I walk, a children's poem by Oliver Herford, sings in my head and I speak it out loud, the words muffled by my scarf:

I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December,
a magical thing
and sweet to remember.
We are nearer to spring
than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.

Later, in the night, sleeping, I dream of that bird - a shadow of a bird, really, perched on the bare branches of one of the trees I walk beneath each night. It is cold, but he is singing and I am walking. I cannot hear his song, my ears are covered, but his beak is open, cloudy puffs of song float from it, and I know he is singing, "WE ARE NEARER TO SPRING THAN WE WERE IN SEPTEMBER. . . "

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just Enough Snow

It is winter now, just enough snow to brighten the darkness. It is cold enough for boots and scarves and cold enough for the ice on the outdoor rink to be frozen solid. Last night, from two blocks away, I heard the skates and hockey pucks - the sound sharpened by the night air. The sound of Winnipeg in winter. The sun rises is so late now that I usually miss it, but some days, when I am lucky, I leave for home early enough to catch it setting, or at least to try. I used to be able to walk each morning facing the sunrise, each evening the sunset - such a wonderful way to begin and end each day. I miss it so much. Now I drive to and from school, not as wonderful, but I am not alone - wire guy Buddha is always with me, meditating on my steering column. And the sky is always there, too. I just have to look a little harder.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It's the end of November and the geese don't know what to do. Actually, they seem to have just decided to stay as long as they can. No snow. No ice. No snow. No ice. I went walking at the bird sanctuary to today, along the floating docks, the leafy paths, the abandoned railway tracks. It was calm and quiet. Well, it would have been quiet without the geese. No matter how far from the water I walked, their call was the background to everything. "Let's not go anywhere. Let's just stay here. Let's not go anywhere. Let's just stay here." One voice connecting to the next and the next and the next. You could not hear where one ended and another began - a happy cacophony of geese.

This path would usually be snow by now - a ski
trail instead of a walking trail - all those trembling birch trees without any leaves, without any trembles. In the summer, its all whispering leaves - chickadees, warblers, finches. Today there were a only few chickadees and, of course, thousands of geese. In just 8 more days it will be December. How long can this last?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How the Sun Rose

A middle-of-the-week posting. Very unusual for me these days. BUT this morning, on my way to school, driving over the Salter Bridge which takes me from the south to north end of the city, which crosses a hundred railway tracks - train cars covered with graffiti, clanging and banging, I turned my eyes to the east and there it was, the sky - coral, pink, blue, yellow. "I'll tell you how the sun rose - a ribbon at a time." Thank you, Sky. Thank you, Emily D.," I thought. I wanted to stop mid-bridge and just stare at it, but that would have meant stopping traffic and probably causing an accident or two. All the way to school, I kept my eyes on the sky as it kept changing. The sun rises so quickly. When I arrived, I pulled the camera from my bag and took these pictures. At school, my little group of nine year olds - all new to Canada, new to English, had been painting sunrises and sunsets, jabbering in Punjabi, whispering in Tagalog, laughing hysterically when they tried to teach me words and I had no clue how to approximate their sounds. Their sunsets on the wall and the pictures in my camera were another kind of language. We painted, we talked (English), put words around the room, and then they wrote poetry - very sweet sunrise/sunset poetry. If I had the poems at home, I would post them. But they are at school, on the inner windows of the hallways, a brave attempt to bring the sky inside with us, rather than leaving it at the door each morning when we enter the building.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Smack Dab in the Middle of November

The exact middle of November. Sunlight. Blue sky. Calm water on the river. Unrippled reflections. On a day like today, or yesterday, or tomorrow it is not hard to be grateful for the leafless trees, the invisible world made visible - all the nests of songbirds who are now gone. Nests that hold sunlight and sky - another kind of song.

In the trees, just off the path, a blue bird house. It's been there all along. Where have I been? Nearly every day in the the summer I walk along this same path, but seldom wade through the weeds and burrs to get to the other side. Obviously, I need to do it more often.

The sun sets early these days. During the week, it is hard to get home in time to walk in the light. If I was in charge of the world, tomorrow, Monday, would be declared a holiday, just because it is the middle of November and there is no snow on the ground and the sun is shining and the evening always comes too soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Where have I been for the past two weeks? I really don't know. Obviously, not anywhere near my blog site and not anywhere near a camera. Two weeks ago we reset our clocks. Two weeks I ago I began to lose my days. The sun is just rising when I leave for school, just setting when I get home - not enough light for any outdoor pictures, not enough light to keep me as awake a I would like to be. Today it was brilliantly sunny and 13 degrees celsius - a very unNovember-like day for us. My nephew and I raked leaves. When he got tired of raking, he threw himself down on a pile of leaves and said, "Cover me up! Cover me up!" He waited for people to walk by on their way to the church next door. When he heard them coming, he leapt out, shaking off the leaves and roaring, as they passed by. They were not as shocked as he hoped they would be. But still, he said, "Do it again! Do it again!" So we did. Over and over again. It was perfect picture-taking weather, but my camera was not at my house, so we have no pictures to save the day. Now it is evening and very dark - the moon is waning. Each evening, when I walk, I realize how hard it is to see clearly in the dark, harder still to take pictures. But that is no reason not to pay attention. Here is one of my favourite "walking-in-the-dark" poems:

- Robert Francis

Keep my from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Forecast: Intermittent Light

My camera is always looking for flowers, for colour, for signs of blue sky. It has been grey for so long - all but one day since October began, but today there were small pieces of blue. The moon was there, too, between all those clouds - a pale waxing crescent. And there were wild asters still blooming - frills of petals surrounding more than a dozen yellow suns.

Summer and fall have been so strange this year. The leaves do not know what to do, so they keep hanging on. Usually, they would have fallen weeks ago.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunshine/Blue Sky

Today the sun shone. It has been cloudy for so long, I have no idea where my sunglasses are. Last week's snow is gone and the grass is still green - that last gasp of summer kind of green. My mom and I cleaned up my yard today - raked and bagged leaves, pruned perennials, planted tulip bulbs, swept sidewalks. By next weekend the leaves in the front yard will be on the ground - just a little more raking and we will all be ready for winter - the leaves, the trees, the garden, the grass. Me? I do not think I am ever really ready for winter, but sunny, summery pictures like this one help.

"Beauty is not a luxury but a strategy for survival."
- Terry Tempest Williams

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Green and White

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada I am trying to be thankful for snow, but hoping that it is not permanent. The leaves on most of the trees are still green, the grass on the lawns, too. It is perfect snowman snow - sticky and wet. We should gather all the children we can find and start rolling and rolling huge snowballs, changing the white world back into green. In my backyard the lap of my poetry chair is white. The picnic table, too. And the leaves of all my lilies and peonies are heavy and drooping - the first night of frost was also the first night of snow. But the sun shone a little today, melting some of this away. I so much prefer the company of flowers to the company of snow. Lucky for me, the mums are still blooming, the sedum, too.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stars On Her Toes


Anosha, at school, six years old with so many rules to learn - indoor shoes, outdoor shoes; Grade 1 Swing Day, Not Grade 1 Swing Day. Front of the line, back of the line. The classroom air fills up with words. With words and directions. "Everyone line up now. Everyone sit down now." But words, for her, are like the wind, impossible to hold, hard to see. And so, because words just blow, I take pictures for her. Swing. Book. Chair. Indoor shoes. Outdoor shoes with stars on her toes. After recess, after the swings, wearing her indoor shoes, Anosha draws and sings her own private song, letting me in, just a little. "Draw eyes. Draw eyes. Draw a shirt. Draw a shirt. Draw pants. Draw pants. A triangle! A square! A house!" My walls fill up with her pictures, my heart with her song.

My days, as a teacher, without my own class, flit by. A little of this. A little of that. Too many meetings with adults, too few with children. But then, there are gifts like this - 30 uninterrupted minutes with Anosha - her wide-open eyes, her glowing skin, her small hand holding a marker, her little song, pictures emerging in front of my eyes. For me, there is no greater joy in teaching than learning from children - sitting beside them, watching them, listening to them, following their lead so that I can be let in. They are the best teachers of all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still Blooming

September has been summer. Summer has been September. Here is the bee that buzzed from sunflower to sunflower last nigh at the community gardens. Lucky flowers! Lucky bee! Lucky me, to have had summer come at last, and hang around for as long as it has - zinnias still in full bloom, pumpkins turning more orange each day, cosmos swaying, late summer raspberries still ripening. The weather people say everything changes tomorrow when fall arrives - wind, rain, more wind, more rain. But tonight, the windows are wide open, warm air is everywhere, and this is the only season there is.

Last night I dreamed - blessed illusion -
that I had a beehive here
in my heart
and that the golden bees were making
white combs and sweet honey
from my old failures.

- Anthony Machado
translated by Robert Bly

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Many Gifts

Poetry Chair
School, September, work. Life has been crazy - not much time to sit in a poetry chair, or any other chair. I am longing for Definitely Not School Summer Camp. Years ago, this chair was a gift from my students - built by a grandfather and covered in poetry and messages written by the children. It is a one-of-a-kind chair, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It has been sitting in my green backyard, in the rain, and the sun, all summer long. Soon it will be moved inside, put away for another season. I never thought I would feel like a chair, but I do. Letting go of summer is hard.

Meanwhile . . . more gifts. Leaving my house this morning, I found a book at my front door. An amazing collection of poetry written by Jade DeFehr, one of my past summer Definitely Not School kids. She is fourteen now and spent part of the summer traveling with her family, so I have not seen her, or heard from her in more than a year. The book was a complete surprise. Because she was not coming to camp, she decided to write a poem a day all summer long. I had been looking for a new poet to carry in my bag and there she was waiting at my door - sixty-two amazing poems - she did not miss one day! It is all of July and August between two covers. I am in absolute awe! If I could have written a book, this is the one I would have written. Here is the first poem in the collection. Thank you, thank you, Jade.

Wednesday 1st

I've met just two,
or maybe three
who know what I know.
Maybe you know it too, but like
most other things,
it only counts if you can
put it to words.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September Lilies

It is the beginning of September, the end of summer, but to walk outside it would seem that summer has just arrived. For the past week, we have had the warmest, driest days in a year, and it is strange to be thinking of going back to school when the weather is telling us to go the beach or the lake or anywhere but back to school. For a week I have been walking past these lilies blooming in front of my old school They are stunning September lilies, more than a dozen white blossoms the size of dinner plates, their scent completely intoxicating. Even the lilies are saying SUMMER, not FALL. But, the sun is rising later each day, setting earlier. These days, when I return from my evening walk, it is dark and dusky, nearly night.

- Myra Cohn Livingston

up her picnic
pouring cold lemonade
in the park grass, Summer says

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Growing Wings and Other Things

Growing Wings by Hana

Getting ready to go back to school . . . I have been sorting through hundreds and hundreds of pieces of writing done by kids I have taught over the last thirty years. I am converting them from over-head transparencies into digital images, into power-point presentations, which means my house is a mess, literally littered with words, but also bursting with stories. Every single piece has a life and story behind it and a child right at the center of it. Whenever I doubt why I teach the way I do, all I need to do is look through these collections - so filled with truth and beauty. I feel incredibly sad for teachers who spend their careers having kids do worksheets, filling in blanks, marking spelling tests, etc. Hana, who was 7 at the time, a real little bird herself, drew this picture at home and brought it to school one day. I want wings just like that! I think there is a poem to go with it somewhere in those stacks of overheads on my dining room table. I am still looking for it.

Favourite Song by Lindsay
Almost twenty years ago I was teaching little children in the inner-city. Many of them were just beginning to learn the alphabet, just learning what words on paper looked like. Often their writing looked like chains of random letters. Some, like Lindsay, already knew how to leave spaces between words. One day, when I knelt beside her and asked her what she was writing, she said, "It's my mom's favourite song." And then she sang it SO sweetly: "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a ranch like me. . . " Unforgettable, really. But even more so, because it is there on the page, in writing.

Ladybug by Binh
Binh had just moved to Canada from Viet Nam the year before he began first grade. He was the little boy who once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. He drew this picture early in the school year. He was still 5 years old, just beginning to learn English, just beginning to connect letters and sounds. It must have been one of the first snowy days in the fall - look carefully on the ground and you will see a tiny ladybug walking beside him. He wrote: "A ladybug is cold in the snow." For more than twenty years, each time I have found a ladybug in my house in the winter, Binh's words are the first that come to mind. Where is he now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Found Land

Welcome to Newfoundland

I spent the last week in Newfoundland, with my mother, visiting my aunt who has a house on Bona Vista Bay. Our first morning there, the phone rang, early. It was her neighbour, Paul, a Dutch whale-watcher/photographer, who spends his summer months with the whales in Newfoundland. He was telling us to get down to the dock, the baby beluga was there, within arm's reach. We pulled on clothes and went right down. Such a playful welcome to Newfoundland. There he was, a baby beluga, tugging on ropes, bumping up against Paul's boat, trying to pull him away from the dock, doing all he could do be noticed. So sweet! But also a little sad, he is stranded in the bay, drawn to human companionship. But there is still hope that he will find his way out before the fall arrives.

Sea, Sky, Rocks, and More
This was my first time on The Rock. An amazing place to visit - more European than Canadian. A blend of Ireland, Scotland, and England. The people are as welcoming as the whales. Just as funny, too. And marvelous story-tellers!

The Pageant at Trinity
Looking Out the Kitchen Window

There were hundreds of dolphins out in the bay, feeding. Also, finn whales spouting and breeching. Each day I was enchanted by the quality of the light. A different kind of brilliance! I suppose, created by so much sea and sky. Newfoundland was once a land of fishermen, but the ocean was over-fished, the fisheries were shut down, and thousands of Newfoundlanders now make their living in the tar sands of Alberta. They do not live in Alberta, they commute. Who wouldn't?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hanging Out/Hanging On

Wire Guy Just Hanging On
It's August and the last week has been a little crazy - sick cats without appetites, visits to the vet (too many!), cats still not eating much, but moving about, rubbing noses against the edges of the computer, sitting on my lap, watching words appear on the screen. I spent the last two days in the country hanging out with my niece and nephew, instead of hanging out with worrisome cats. We went for bike rides to every local store and scanned the billboards looking for FREE PUPPIES! (SHE WANTS A PUPPY!) There were none. We went to the "swimming pool" or, as it is now called "The Aquatic Center". It barely resembles the pool I swam in when I was their age. Swirling slides, straight slides, water cannons (they are actually allowed to aim at each other), beach chairs and umbrellas, families with over-sized coolers on wheels filled with over-sized treats! Hard to believe that pool began almost fifty years ago as one blue rectangle in the middle of the prairie - a place that was controlled by rules: NO RUNNING! NO SPLASHING! NO DUNKING! NO FOOD! I loved it anyway. The world just keeps changing.

We went home and sat in the sunshine, twisting colourful wires together, making wire guys . . . and DOGS. Here is Nicholas' wire guy hanging out around the yard. There was no end to possibilities. Wire Guy also did some work on his tractor, flew without wings, walked his dog, climbed the wall, slept in the lilies, and talked to some frogs. Sometimes the best field trips of all happen in your own backyard . . . Now I am back in the city with the cats who show no interest at all in Wire Guy, and not much more interest in their food.

Wire Guy Walks the High Wire
Wire Guy at the Beach
Flying Away With the Bluebird

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Paint, Paper, Scissors

Rain, again, today! Rain. Sun. Rain. Sun. At the moment . . . rain! It seems that this has been the way all summer long. All spring as well. I am trying to love this day - clouds, sun, wind, clattering cutlery, nervous cats, pieces of colourful paper sticking to my fingertips, the soles of my feet, the edges of the kitchen sink. Really, when I think of winter (which I try not to do), THIS is very, very good. I am reading Terry Tempest Williams - Finding Beauty in a Broken World - a deeply compelling call for resurrection, for healing, for assembling, reassembling, putting together the pieces of a broken world, and making beauty. I am not sure how this book found me this summer, but we met. It is a FABULOUS book. She is a wonder! Our lives are filled with fractured pieces of so many kinds. Each time I read T.T.W. I feel more whole.


For the past few weeks I have spent my days and evenings collaging with pieces of colourful paper left behind by children with whom I have worked, or the remains of past projects of my own, or fragments of art work done by friends and sent to me. Scissors and paper, pieces of other people - these are my tools right now. Some gel pens, too. The pages of my sketch/writing book are splashes of colour waiting for words. These days I never arrive at an empty page - there is always colour waiting for me and each page has a history. Each page evolves on its own - beginning very randomly and growing towards order. I have decided that I would live inside these summer pages, if I could. . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We Have a Butterfly!

Still in Her Chrysalis

Thursday Morning - Just heading out the door to walk, I glance at the container on the fridge and see how thin and transparent the chrysalis has become. Beneath the shadowy skin, I see wings, black wings trimmed with white polka-dots. I decide to stay home instead. I polish the kitchen windows, one eye on the glass, the other on the chrysalis. And then . . . it begins - so quietly, you would never know it was happening. The skin splits apart and a butterfly, crumpled like a a wad of wet kleenex, emerges. Ta-Da!

Just Emerging

All day, she hangs upside-down, at first pumping her wings full of fluid, then just letting them drying.

Such Beautiful Wings

Towards evening she crawls onto my finger and then onto a pink lily. She is nearly ready to take to the sky, but it is too cloudy and cool for her wings to work. I decide to keep her safe one more night. . .

Meeting Alex Eye to Eye

The next morning, my nephew, Alex, (a.k.a. Bug Boy) calls. He was at my house the day she hatched from egg to caterpillar - as tiny and thin as an eyelash. He saw it happen. He has been at his cottage at the lake since the beginning of July but today, he has come into the city to have his vision checked- "20-20!" he declares. I already knew that. If it was possible to have better than perfect vision, he would have it. He sees wonder in the tiniest, creepiest crawly things. He celebrates it all the time. I pack up the butterfly and head for Alex's house. He wants to show me the milkweed he found in his backyard- "A bird must have pooped out the seed, because we didn't plant it, " he says, breathlessly happy. At the end of June, all he wanted was milkweed growing in his garden. Miracle of miracles, now he has it! We open the butterfly box and the butterfly crawls onto Alex's fingers. He carries her from flower to flower, introducing her to his lilies and his geraniums and the tiny purple flowers he and his mother have planted in the front yard. We try to convince her to leave, but she hangs around, not yet ready to say good-bye. Later, I take her home for one more night, give her milkweed flowers for supper, and watch her sleep. Tomorrow I will set her free . . .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clean Windows

The days this week have been perfect and sunny, the evenings a bit rainy and thundery which has made the world many shades of green - the best colour to be.  When it is summer in Winnipeg, it is hard to remember ever wanting to be anywhere else. There is sky and river and days that last long into evening - seemingly no need to sleep.  Today I cleaned my sunroom windows, an arduous task - taking them apart, spraying, polishing, spraying, polishing, one side, then the other side, another side and another side - layers and layers of glass. So much work. But when I was done all I wanted to do was sit and feel the clean light in my eyes.  All of winter's grit gone. Tonight, in my house, even the darkness will shine.  No better way to spend a day.  Here are three more portraits by the remarkable "art girls".     

Abby Chirping Prism 

Skylar Fading Bamboo
Chloe Walking Avocado 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Being Art

Niko Freckle Cloud 

Here are three of last week's Art Girls - each with her own special name, each shining in her own special way. These were large portraits, big enough to cover the windows of my house.  On the last morning of camp, they were taped to the sunroom windows, facing out onto the sidewalk, looking out at the world.  Anyone passing by could see what had been happening inside all week long while it was raining outside.  At one point, while painting her portrait, Niko smudged her face with her rainbow fingers, "I don't think she wants to be art today," she said somewhat whimsically.   Of course she did, she just didn't know it yet.  And here she is with two of her friends - all of them quite happy to be art. 

Jami Rainbow Songbird 
Siena Clattering Cricket 

 On the second day of camp last week a friend and her son, who are moving to Victoria, dropped a note in the mail slot of my door.  All of the Art Girls were just getting started when we heard the letter slipping through the slot.  I opened it and there was a lovely farewell note along with a fridge magnet:  a painting of a polar bear with the words When I grow up - I want to be art.  So wonderful!  It reminded me of the little boy I once taught who told his mother that when he grew up he wanted to be a Humane Society - "You know the place that saves animals," he explained, "that's what I want to be."  What wonderful aspirations - to be art, to be humane, to save animals.  Three more portraits to post tomorrow . . . 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Better Way to Be Together

The Art Girls

Jami's Portrait: My Real Name is Rainbow Songbird Clock 

Chloe's Says They Are Just Friends

Yesterday was the last day of art camp at my house. The week ended with blue sky and sunshine, the same way it began. All the windows and walls were covered with art and Skylar brought crepes, fresh fruit, and whipped cream - the kind that comes in a pressurized can. Is there any better way to celebrate when you are 10 years old? We went into the green backyard and everyone made sweet and messy strawberry/raspberry wraps.  We exchanged gifts, wrote poems for each other and at the end of the morning we took all the left-over paint outside and covered the sidewalk with sparkling hearts and handprints. We painted with our toes and the soles of our feet. Some of the paint was semi-permanent, so the week will not really be over until it all washes away. Even then, it will not really be over. I know The Art Girls are checking this blog. I will post more portraits tomorrow. I think we can keep this going for a while yet . . .

A poem by a previous Summer Art Girl (she was 9 when she wrote it!)

Justin Linton

Your feet know
the way home.
They can tell you
the alphabet.
They can lead you
to the forest
and show you
many things, like
a special tree
in the sky
and beauty.

Your feet can do that.
They can.

And toe-painting, too. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So Much Colour!

Niko's Wild Hands

Siena Painting Green

Chloe Collaging

Jami Twisting and Twirling Her T-Shirt Yesterday 

Abby's T-Shirt Today - WOW!  

This is my favourite week of the whole year - Definitely Not School Summer Camp at my house. For one week each summer my house becomes a studio where kids paint and write and make a wonderful mess. Each day I am surrounded by so much beauty - the kind you find on paper, but also the living, breathing kind.  This summer there are seven of us.  If a house could glow because of what was happening inside, mine would be shining like the sun. It is raining outside but we are making our own light inside.  


Summer View From My Kitchen Window

Summer View From My Kitchen Window
I am already more than a week into my summer holidays and just beginning to settle into this greenest of seasons - so glad to be at home with my windows and my light. I am just learning how to post these blogs, spending too much time in front of my computer, not enough time with the sky.  The morning began with thunder - an hour of pouring rain and thunder!!  Long after sunrise, the sky was still dark and ominous, but then suddenly the sun broke through. I put on my garden shoes, grabbed my camera, and went out to the flowers . . .   

After the Rain

After the Rain
After all that wild weather, the day lily leaves were covered with such quiet raindrops . . . 

After the Rain

After the Rain
One side of my yard is lined with leafy peonies - the grandmother of all flowers - pink, white, deep, deep red.  I have been deadheading the flowers all week long, but this one, just opening, survived the storm. I have lived in my house for nearly twenty years; these peonies were here long before I moved in and with any luck will be here long after I am gone.