I spent the afternoon in the vegetable garden, mostly finishing up a new garlic bed. The old one was too small and the wooden frame had pretty much rotted away. (It was originally built as a sandbox, 8×8, at least 27 years ago, a testament to both the long-lasting qualities of cedar boards and the way something can be repurposed as one’s life changes…) John built a new one in more or less the same area but taking in extra space, easing under a huge sage plant and against the deer fence and out into what was a wide path under an apple tree.. With my new-found math vocabulary, I’m calling its shape an isoscoles trapezoid but I think that’s generous. (I don’t think the non-parallel sides are exactly congruent.) Mostly it’s just four boards (2x8s, formerly the joists and a header for the old deck which was rebuilt several years ago). It gives me — us — about a third again more space for garlic. Our garlic is sensational but there’s never quite enough.
The sun was warm and the ravens were klooking somewhere just to the south of our house. A young man brought a load of sweet-smelling fir logs to supplement what we’ve been able to bring in ourselves this year. I thought what an amazingly beautiful world it is. I thought of Eliza Gilkyson’s song —
beautiful world beautiful world beautiful world…
beautiful trees breathing the air alive
beautiful leaves trembling and dry
beautiful bees moving from flower to hive
beautiful seas mirroring sky
— and could almost hear her singing it as I dug up the bed and spread more soil and rotting straw around the new edges. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiosnMtFIgU)
Then I walked over for the mail and our box was full of election brochures. I’ve already voted and so it’s a bit late to try to convince me but honestly I will be very glad when this election is over. The Conservatives in particular are practising the ugliest kind of gutter politics imaginable. Not just the niqab issue. Not just the fear-mongering that somehow terrorists are waiting in every dark alley. But the fictions directed at those who need to understand what Canada is truly about. For instance: Chinese language ads directed at new Chinese immigrants, telling them that the Liberals want to open brothels in neighbourhoods (their neighbourhoods) and sell marijuana to children from local grocery stores. It’s almost funny, except it isn’t. Remember the rhetoric of the Nazi Party? Is this so different? Have a look at what other countries are saying about this government’s racist attitudes and remember the days when we had true statesmen with truly democratic and humane principles: http://www.pressprogress.cacongratulations_canada_now_the_world_is_talking_about_your_prime_ministers_racist_rhetoric
I’ll be in Ottawa on the 19th, spending time with my new grandson and his parents. They live in the riding where Emilie Taman is running for the NDP. I heard Emilie’s mother Louise Arbour on the radio a week or two ago, talking about the Conservative disdain for Canadian judges and our justice system. Louise Arbour is a national treasure. She’s more than that; she’s an international treasure. I remember her work as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and also as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She is about as intelligent and decent as a human being can be. Her daughter, a former federal crown prosecutor, seems to be cut from the same fine cloth. I’d love to celebrate her victory in Ottawa next week. But most of all I’d love to celebrate a victory for all of us, including this beautiful little boy who went hiking with his parents on Thanksgiving Monday!