Thursday, March 18, 2010

from the goodness of their hearts

Simone is a woman in my village who takes pictures of all kinds of things. She's also a fantastic baker.

She frequents the library and will sometimes bring us treats. The other day she stopped in to photograph the Grade 2 class that was visiting, and she brought us a brown paper bag with four fresh-from-the-oven rolls. I stuck my nose in the bag and the scent of that bread seriously intoxicated me. Drunk on bread. I brought it to the front desk - "Smell this," I said to my colleagues. "SMELL this," as I held it up to their noses. "It smells like LOVE."

"I love Simone's buns," said Kate.

Saying laughing and crying
You know it's the same release

-"People's Parties" by Joni Mitchell

There's been a reason to cry lately; a loss in my life. And I'm so moved by the sweetness other folks have been showing me. Friends just being there - being on the other end of the phone, or there physically with tubs of Haagen-Dazs, or there in email from the other side of the country. Being themselves, being caring, and just plain BEING - the totality of that word.

On the drive to Eskasoni last weekend - I stopped the car in an area called Benacadie and got out and stretched. Steeee - retch. OH yeah, that feels good. Stretch physically after one hour of driving. Stretch mentally - get out of the front seat, out from behind the wheel and the windshield. Look up and see the sky. A new valley - I've never been here before. Brand new place, to me. No one around. Bright sun, dry bare pavement. A bridge across a river, some snow still in the bushes and in the shade. A blackened, just-burnt field.

A car drives by and slows, stops. Several faces, all Mi'kmaq. The driver is wearing a uniform - "Eskasoni" on the arm badge. "Are you all right?" He asks. "Oh yeah, I'm fine," I say, smiling. They drive on.

The goodness of their hearts.


I wish my camera was working! (The door that holds in the batteries and the memory chip is broken. I've been to the camera shop and they're ordering me in a new one. In the meantime, I wait.) There are so many things I want to take pictures of, and share here. For example: oranges. I broke down and bought some oranges. As you may or may not know, I try and buy local produce. However, as you may also know, oranges are in no way local to Cape Breton.

Here's why I broke my local produce rule: as I said above, this past week I've been in poor spirits, to the point where food wasn't exciting me at all. I'd think of making food and just feel weary, tired, and sad.

But when my brain went, "Ooh! Oranges!" during a conversation with someone who is going to Florida in a motor-home, I thought I should follow that urge. Like when characters in a movie get into a taxi and say "Follow that car!" I knew this urge would lead me somewhere good.

Later that same day, I found myself sitting outside, on our deck. Peeling the first orange out of the bag like it was going to save my life. And while things are not that dire, in a way that orange did save my spirit. I was seeing things in black and white and grey, and along came something bright orange. With a thick peel that I took off with my fingernails, revealing the juicy segments underneath. And it was delicious.

Blog Archive