Thursday, July 5, 2007

rise up!

I wish I could show you how beautiful the garden is. I think even photographs taken by someone skilled would fail to do the plants and the sunshine and the fresh breeze justice. Sometimes when I'm in a cranky or desultory mood, I go sit outside, somewhere on the deck, and look around me. It is July, and I am home, and this is what I wanted. This is what I dreamed about in February and March when things were so miserable, and this is what kept me afloat through April and even May, with the snowstorms and slow growth. Things may not be perfect, there are still issues to deal with, and my energy is still low. But it is July and I am home.

This means: forget-me-nots and buttercups, delicate blue and yellow, mixed together the length of the driveway. Calvin mowing our lawn every few weeks and making the lush growth of the garden stand out. Irises a splashy dance in many colors. Scented stock and sweet rocket making the air smell of clove at night. Tall grey clouds and the sudden rainstorms they bring. My cherry tomato plant putting out little yellow trumpets that will one day in late August be little cherry tomatoes. Green, green, everywhere green, and most everything putting out buds or new growth of some kind. Sitting on the deck in the shade of the maple that grows through it, reading and drinking juice, while the cats lie splayed beside me.

Speaking of reading, what I'm mentally devouring these days is a book Grandmaman gave me last Christmas, which I'm finally getting to, called "Ride the Rising Wind: One Woman's Journey Across Canada", by Barbara Kingscote. It's the true story of how Barbara travelled across Canada when she was 20 on the back of her mare, Zazy, in 1949 and 1950. It's incredible in pretty much every way: her age, her inexperience with that sort of travel, the way people (in general) were so kind to her, not to mention her writing describing the places and people she passed. Also, she travelled at a time when horsepower on farms still came partly from horses, but this was changing rapidly to the modern, mechanized way of doing things. Kingscote thus witnessed both small, subsistence farms, which she describes as having dignity and eking out a living while respecting the land around them, and the larger operations of farming, logging and urban sprawl that were creating a space that was "an obsolete battleground where the battered corpse of wilderness lay unburied, for everyone to see and no one to mourn." Kingscote calls it like she sees it, with clear, dancing prose, and I'm only halfway through--we're just about to enter the prairies. We being the three of us, of course: Barbara, Zazy and me, riding that "rising wind".

And speaking of rising, I've been thinking about mornings, the time one rises, what one does soon after rising. I'm enjoying having time in the mornings, to do those important stretches, eat breakfast on the deck, spying on the birds at the same time. And sometimes, when I get up extra early (7 or 8 am, these days) I feel like I've done something productive just by getting out of bed. There's something special about the early morning and the few times I do get up early, I enjoy it -- there are mists that will later burn off, and shades and angles of light not seen at other times of day. Of course, my body is usually extra cranky at an early hour, so there's a pay-off.

Now it's your turn to rise to the occasion. What's your morning routine? What's early and what's late? What's so special about getting up early, anyway? Do tell.

Blog Archive