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:
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,
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.