Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Snowman Edition

I went out today looking for someone who was glad it was still winter, happy that the snow had no intention of leaving soon, someone who loved the colour white and did not miss green at all. I met no other people, only snowmen. They did not have much to say but they looked pretty happy, even the ones with no faces at all . . .

Monday, February 15, 2010

At the Conservatory

Just when I forgot this place existed, I remembered, and here I am in February, in Winnipeg, in the middle of a blooming garden - grape hyacinths, primroses, crocuses, a glass ceiling partly covered with ice and snow, but mostly just blue sky and sunlight. On the other side of the walls, spring is still months away, but inside it has arrived. This place is always filled with either little children, just learning to walk, or the elderly, needing a hand to help them walk. The little ones run wildly, meeting the flowers at eye-level, greeting them with kisses and claps; the elderly stoop forward, murmuring "ahhs" and "mmmms" trying to remember names and other gardens they have known. The snow outside is still deep, but today I think the bulbs underground are not sleeping as soundly as they were yesterday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

At the Library

"Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Use
Just Starting Out?"
- Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
he gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like the child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhh."

Then start again.

At the library the other night, not my usual library, but another, I heard the sound of running feet - going, going, going. I knew from the sound, the feet were small, maybe two years old, probably less. It was 8:30, dark outside, (cold and snowy, of course). I was surrounded by rows and rows of silent books, but there was the sound of little feet, more alive than any of those books. And there was the little boy, rounding the corner, running down one aisle, up the next, just smiling, and running, not even bothering to check whether any one was following him. What better reason to be in a library in winter than to throw caution to the wind and run? I do not think I have ever appreciated the story of The Little Gingerbread Boy quite the way I did that night. "Run. Run. As fast as you can. You can't catch me . . . " I gave up on the books completely. I just watched and listened. Then I went home and built a tower.

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.