a fall postcard

autumn postcard

Looking out at the workshop, the door with the lock John repaired many years ago (puzzling through its tumblers and mysteries), the view through, an old saw we found on a walk up the mountain, I am thinking of all the Thanksgiving weekends prepared for and anticipated. The ones where grandparents arrived, the ones we celebrated as a family of 5, the one we spent gathering oysters at little bay at the end of Sakinaw Lake (commemorated in “Yellow Plates” in Red Laredo Boots), the quiet ones when the children left home. One year we were in Edmonton, meeting a brand-new Henry. This year, Forrest, Manon, Arthur, and Edmond are traveling to us from Ottawa and Angelica from Victoria. Pies are made, sourdough starter ready for loaves, and red cabbages salvaged from the garden raid by the local deer have been braised with apples and cider and frozen for this weekend. The table will be set with the old willow plates and the silver, on a cloth stitched by John’s grandmother as she sat in her English house, thinking of her own family flown to Canada. A table remembers all this. A table is smoothed by the many hands wiping its surface, smoothing a cloth, setting a glass down too quickly in anger or pleasure, a table holds the weight of meat and bread and a stain of red wine. As Joy Harjo observed, “This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.” Pulled out from the wall, its leaves open and generous, it is as quietly excited as I am.

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