notes from (nearly) spring

It’s cold this morning, a relative thing I know, as it’s a coastal cold:  drizzly rain, the aftermath of wind, trees heavy with water, not snow. And by my front door, a reminder that spring is just around the corner:

front door

It’s the time of year when the heart wants both to be home, taking care of the tomato seedlings and the wonderful pea sprouts  —  particularly the Mendel peas, which I’d thought were lost after none grew last year, or at least none survived the mice and birds who kept plucking out the sprouts for their sweetness; but then I found a tiny envelope with 10 seeds from 2014. These have been planted inside and won’t go out until they’re too big to attract attention! So back to the heart and what it wants. To be home and to be elsewhere, the beautiful Thompson Plateau for instance, where the character in my current work-in-progress is searching for the landscapes of Sheila Watson and Ethel Wilson:

(from her notes)

A geological guidebook:
limestone; castellated lava hoodoos eroded by streams, extreme weather; red-rock pinnacles; silt bluffs from glacial meltwater and sinkholes; the scent of copper, lure of gold in the Highland Valley, mountains moved for the minerals and metals in granite; ancient communities in the mudstone and volcanic ash layers east of Cache Creek, forests of dawn redwoods, white cedars, sassafras and gingkos recumbent in the layers, along with tiny sleeping eosalmo driftwoodensis, earwigs, craneflies, dragonflies perfect in their physiology, reticulated and tumbling flower beetles, wasps, stick insects; rusting iron pebbles on the bed of the Tranquille River; grasslands of hummocks and tiny beautiful kettles fringed with soft grasses over glacial debris north of the Thompson.

To be near my children and my grandchildren (all 2 1/3 of them!), though that will come, in a few weeks (Victoria), a month (Edmonton), and two months (Ottawa). To drive away with field-guides and coffee in the travel mug and a rain-jacket just in case, stopping at every little museum or roadside attraction, sleeping in motels in small towns, walking out in the morning to see what people who live there see every day: a bridge over the Fraser River, the talus slope on the other side, a camel barn turned into a theatre, bluebirds, the wide sky.

But for today: a snipping of miners lettuce,

miners lettuce

a little jug of daffodils, some music, the warmth of the fire, and the incessant sound of the male Oregon junco who keeps visiting every window and the shiny metal chimney to attack his reflection, his rival.

2 thoughts on “notes from (nearly) spring”

  1. Theresa,

    I so envy you your proximity to nature. My small apartment overlooks a noisy street and the air pollution in Paris is awful. I’d love to take a road trip across the Canadian provinces.

  2. Juliet, they both have their riches. On wet afternoons, when working in the garden is out of the question, I dream of Les Halles or listening to a concert in Saint-Severin (can’t do the accent here…). Still, last night, driving home at dusk, the light so beautiful over Nelson Island, a dusting of new spring snow on the mountain behind us, an elk crossing the highway in front of us, well, I wouldn’t have traded my life, my place, for anything.

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