le matin

Morning does not seem to be the right word for now, for the now I am living, feeling, as I walk onto the upper deck where the roses are beginning to open,

rose

where the air still feels full of the owl calls I heard in the night, barred owls mostly, but another, farther away, two notes only, and where the tomatoes are growing inches by the day.

tomatoes

The day began with a call from Ottawa where that family was driving back from a hike and the grandsons were full of news. A dragonfly nymph in the pool they’d created in the backyard for tadpoles and other pond life. A dragonfly nymph that breathes through its bum! This, in French and English! After talking to them, I thought about the Edmonton family, camping in Jasper, having left on Thursday in snow…And I felt gratitude, because Angelica and her beau received their first shots of Pfizer yesterday.

Yesterday at this time I was beginning to prepare for our first lunch guests in more than a year. We’d eat outside and the day was only half-sunny. Was it too early to open our lives to actual contact with others? When I pulled a linen cloth from the pine bureau, I saw that a mouse had chewed a bit of it for a nest. That mouse was around last year but it shows how long it’s been since I’ve used a tablecloth. Was it wrong to leave them so long in a dark drawer? The moon plates, the silver, pretty napkins bought in San Francisco. The deck was beautiful (“Like Greece!” our friends exclaimed, as we sat under wisteria and leafing grape-vine, capiz shell chimes tinkling, and the table laid with tomato tart, cheeses, duck pâté with apricots, salad from the upper deck, and Prosecco in the faux Murano glasses). We kept our distance physically but how lovely it was to talk across the table again, to take up a conversation began many years ago and to extend it as naturally as air.

Just after our friends left, I looked out the window to see a young black bear approaching the deck, hoping for leftovers. Realizing it had been spotted, it disappeared into thin air, like the owl calls last night, the sound of capiz shells, the scent of roses as they open in the morning, fresh and almost honeyed, and the sweetness of yellow daylilies before the sun reaches them, opening, opening. Some mornings I feel as though I am hovering between this world and another and I don’t have the words to say who I am.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

   —Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

flava

4 thoughts on “le matin”

  1. I so enjoy these small visits to your place, Theresa, being able to see the perfect blue of the house’s trim and almost tasting your carefully chosen lunch menu. Thank you! How encouraging to have shared a meal with live people after all this time. I hope you’ll be able to salvage some of the linen to use in quilting or to make into napkins. It’s a shame Winter wasn’t vigilant enough to intervene before the cloth became a nest. We had an inch of slow rain overnight (I’m sure the Scots have the exact word for it) and the thirsty prairie is transformed by the first moisture since last November’s snows. There is almost a BC feel to the air but thankfully no bears, just a small weasel in his cinnamon and black hunting in the yard. It’s the first I’ve ever seen in its summer colours.

    1. Thanks, Susan! That blue was in my mind and I remember we stopped at a paint store on Lonsdale in North Vancouver so I could go in and buy a gallon or two for windows, etc. It took me about 3 minutes because suddenly there was the blue! We’ve never changed it. And the linen tablecloth (a thrift find) had been folded in such a way that the mouse ate a corner that turned out to be exactly in the middle of the cloth when unfolded. A circle. So I think I’ll just finish the edges and then the cloth can be used on a table with hole for an umbrella! We haven’t seen a weasel for a bit, apart from a dead one at the sunroom door, brought by Winter but not killed by him (it was completely intact with no sign of injury and anyway I’ve seen videos of weasels killing much larger animals by jumping on their necks and biting their spinal cords…). That weasel, with guidance from daughter re: how to measure it, weigh it, detail our location, is in the freezer (!), waiting to make its way to the provincial Museum. I said to my children, If I die suddenly, I have to tell you there’s a weasel in the big freezer…

  2. Beautiful words Theresa. I’m ready to have lunch with friends again soon. Thankfully I’m fully vaccinated but we are still being cautious for a while longer until the two other eligble people in my house can get their second shot.

    1. Friends came yesterday for a glass of wine on the deck and it was lovely but also kind of strange. To talk with someone other than my husband, to prepare a platter of food to eat with our drinks, to laugh. I think we’ll get used to it again but right now I spend a lot of the night before feeling anxious! (And the night after thinking about the rhythms of friendship and how this is the harmony again after only the simple melody for so long.)

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