“…through us the air so warm…”

If it seems quiet from my part of the world, it’s because it isn’t. It’s busy — a visiting grandson and his parents and aunt last week, followed by a mid-winter chamber music weekend organized by the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival committee, of which I’m a member. All of it lovely — tiny Arthur with his huge smile cuddling in bed with me one morning and tolerating many verses of “Mary Hamilton”; two concerts of the music of Brahms and both Schumanns, Clara and Robert, performed by Gary Levinson (violin), Baya Kakouberi (piano), and Andres Diaz (cello); meals with friends; some long walks through winter woods.

Today I turned and the tulips in the pot, only buds yesterday, were in bloom.

tulipsSo as the flowers open, thoughts turn to road trips, driving up the Fraser Canyon with the car windows open, stopping at every historical signpost, taking the same photographs over and over (the hills, the river, the lonely abandoned cabins). I woke in the middle of the night, or rather very early this morning, and worked on a novella-in-progress, and the sentences took me into a beloved landscape. Here are a few of those sentences for those of you who also dream of other places, warmth, and the scent of sage:

Our bodies are porous. They take in river water, sunlight, the scent of Artemisa frigida, dust from bone dry slopes, dust of bones themselves littered on the talus (bighorn sheep, marmots, the tiny hollow leg bone of birds eaten and excreted by coyotes, sand particles), pollen from ponderosa pines, midges, spores too minute to affect anything other than a lung, fine hairs of mule deer, the stink of migrating salmon. Over us, the deep blue sky, through us the air so warm and clear we breathe it in deeply and it doesn’t seem altered when we exhale yet the work of our bodies is there too. And helium, beryllium, and carbon, iron and nickel, the dust from dying stars. (from The Marriage of Rivers)