The last day of the year 2017. After a week of rain the sun finally showed its face this morning; the birds running riot in the yard. In addition to the usual feeder visitors (chickadees, sparrows, finches, juncos), we had a flock of robins in search of the final cotoneaster berries. They pulled a few cedar waxwings along with them too. The more unusual sight was the small gang of Steller’s jays. Given their size, I find it comical how timid they are, like a bunch of nervous gunslingers. Gulls, cormorants and crows on the wing completed the picture. I’ll take them all as good omens !
Not so much writing this fall. It was full of doing.
Sailing through the holidays, through the dark, to the New Year.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. – CP Cavafy
We are here.
was both too fast
and too slow.
Car travel still being
fast enough to leave you
a little unsettled
at the ever later
setting of the sun
but too slow
to by-pass the occasional tedium
of 4500 kilometers in a van.
We passed over
and walked by
a Sleeping Giant
clothed in Boreal trees.
Hit the Prairies flying
and stopped for Pelicans
and other birds in salty locales.
The Mountains were the stars
despite the heat and haze of smoke.
Well, stars until we found the Ocean again.
Still smells like home.
After a year without a decent camera, the resident photographer is back in action ! Colours of a southern Ontario winter:
Sebastien at Leslie Spit, Toronto Ontario.
The photographer has taken the camera and fled to the wilderness, so you have to imagine the scene. The garden is in all its fall glory, which is to say it is a mess of almost spent plants accompanied by an understory of weeds going to seed (but oh so beautiful). I could claim a case of tendentious as a weed excuse, but truthfully past falls have been similar. A small flock of Chipping Sparrows came yesterday to glean those weed seeds. They seemed particularly fond of the crab grass. A few Goldfinches, dressed now in duller tones, kept lookout from drying spikes of wild Evening Primrose. I took their presence as a blessing on my wild gardening ways.
I read this line today:
I think I’ve managed that with our little piece of urban land. And now, each footfall will be a long good-bye. This coming summer we will be moving back to the west coast and the place that has always felt like home. We’re excited, and sad, and hopeful. We’ll walk paths long remembered but transformed in our absence. Hopefully, both old and new will be muses for my feet to love.