The smell of cedar kindling

Was it only the day before yesterday that we walked down Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury where flowering currant provided a brilliant backdrop to daffodils and grape hyacinth? Where young girls wore impossibly short skirts and tank tops and flip-flops? Where blackbirds chased one another through the trees of Cartwright Gardens?

We arrived home yesterday afternoon to the aftermath of a storm. Branches everywhere, power lines in the process of being repaired by crews between us and Garden Bay Road, phone lines down, the snow very low on Mount Hallowell’s shoulders . . . Our house was welcoming, though cold. We made a fire in the woodstove, the smell of cedar kindling as sweet as any flower in London, and began to take up our lives again after a wonderful time in the Czech Republic.

So much to think about, so much to do. I began an essay in the small hours of the night, “Mendel’s Peas”; I think this will be part of Blue Portugal, the book I am trying to write about my family’s history.

John just brought me a cup of coffee to drink at my desk. It’s the coffee we always have here at home, bought in five pound bags: Cowboy Coffee’s Black Mountain Blend, a dark roast, freshly-ground each morning. I had good coffee in Europe – tiny cups of  espresso in Prague, Brno, London – often with a pastry (which I reasoned I would walk off during the day!). But more than anything, this coffee, in a creamy faience cup decorated with blue fish (made by Coast potter Darcy Margesson), tells me I’m home. And the fire warming the kitchen, the sound of ravens announcing morning.


~ by theresakishkan on March 14, 2012.

2 Responses to “The smell of cedar kindling”

  1. Your extraordinary and beautiful book, Nmemonic: A Book of Trees, deserves to win the BC Book Prize for Non-Fiction. Your husband, too, is in the running for the poetry prize. Oh my, what a gifted twosome!

  2. Thanks so much, Jancis!

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