approaching the end of the year

I approach it with reluctance. This has been a memorable year in so many ways and I don’t want to let it go. One of the things I do at the end of December is enter next year’s significant dates — birthdays, anniversaries, literary committments — into my new daybook. (This one, from the Folio Society, is gorgeous.)

datebookAnd going through last year’s book, I see all the dinners shared with friends and my family, the plays attended, a few trips (New Mexico, Edmonton, Victoria, Ottawa, a road trip to the lower Okanagan/Boundary area with friend Liz, a road trip to Edmonton to meet our grandbaby Kelly a day after her birth in July, Tofino, Edmonton again, Ottawa/Montreal/Quebec City, a road trip to Lillooet and Kamloops to gather images and information for a work-in-progress). Sadly there are a few memorial service details noted. Arrivals and departures of guests. The flurry of activity for the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival. I see cryptic marks that I think indicate when I planted beans, tomatoes, and squiggly lines that show the garlic bed and the varieties planted but nothing about the harvest — I am not a precise gardener and those going through my papers will not find a rich hoard of seed notes, yields, or soil temperatures…In fact most of those papers were burned in two huge bonfires of the vanities — old manuscripts gone up in smoke, where they belonged.

I wish I kept lists of books read over the year. At the time of reading, I think, O, I’ll never forget this one. But I have, or at least I can’t recall all the titles that have been heaped on my bedside table and savoured. Some of them I’ve mentioned here but there were many more — 2 or 3 a week; sometimes more — and I can’t help but think I would have a better sense of time’s accumulation (rather than its passing) if I kept lists. I have a fear of the quantitative over the qualitative but there must be a happy medium. Maybe this will be the year I’ll enter the titles into my new daybook. Maybe that’s a resolution.

This morning, the second-to-last day of 2014, the sky is clear and very pale blue. There’s a hard frost over the grass. When I woke in the night around 1:30, the moon was just disappearing beyond Texada Island but there were bright stars and an owl somewhere in the woods. Yesterday we had lunch in Sechelt, a table of adults handing a baby from person to person so each of us could finish our food. Kelly kept smiling at the elderly couple across the restaurant and the woman of the couple said to me, Bless you, you have the most beautiful baby, when I carried Kelly over to see them. At our table, my babies Brendan and Angelica were laughing with Cristen and John.  Yes, I said, I do.

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