…I made citrus curd. First thing, though, I looked at the news. It wasn’t good. I sat by the fire with my first cup of coffee and cried a little. The jays were arriving for their breakfast and looked kind of quizzical. Why wasn’t I bringing out sunflower seeds? Even after I scattered seed on the ground for the towhees and left little heaps on the posts, the jays were still puzzled.
I cried some more and then shaped the dough that had been rising all night for the oven. By the time John came down, I’d finished with tears and was thinking about the lunch I’d make tomorrow for friends. Steelhead tacos with blood-orange salsa. Whipped cream folded into the curd (made with Meyer lemons and calamondins from the little trees in my sunroom) for mousse, and a rhubarb compote to dollop on top. When I opened the door to the greenhouse, the scent of tomato plants and warm soil. A bee followed me in, eager for geraniums.
On the 64th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I thought about the brief reading I will do tonight, via Zoom, with 3 other authors celebrating books from the University of Alberta Press, wondering if the passage I’ve chosen is the right one. There’s a lot of choose from in this book—essays about colour, about family history, about aging, rivers, injury, love, wine—but I’ve decided to honour the country my grandfather left in 1907 and where Kishkans can still be found in the village he was born it. It’s a long way from the cities currently under fire but I think of it, and them, hourly.
In my house, there is fresh bread on the counter, a bowl of delicious citrus curd, and a saucepan of rhubarb compote, flavoured with candied ginger, is cooling on the stove. This morning I cried for the country my grandfather left. We crossed the Prut River to drive to his village, a river mentioned by Herodotus, and I am hoping for a happy ending.
Nearby, the Prut River made its own sweet music, starlight and moonshine and winged insects hovering. I had never seen lamps in graveyards and now dream of their light.