One beautiful Valentine’s Day a few years back, I was out and about in our neighbourhood walking to a wonderful nearby neighbourhood pâtisserie. I was on my way to pick up a few heart-shaped cookies for my sweet man. It felt like spring—the sky was a clear azure blue, the sun gently warmed my face, birds chirped away in the trees and my heart sang right along with them, overflowing with affection for my sweetie. I felt expansive, head-over-heels in love with my man; indeed, in love with all of life itself.
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving down a busy Calgary roadway—windows rolled down, sun on my shoulder, my arm exuberantly slapping the side of the car in time to a snappy tune on the radio—when I came to a stoplight. As I waited for the light to change, my eye caught a flash of something bright pink. I turned to see that the attention-getting vibrant hot pink colour belonged to the large, heavy-headed blossoms of some tall prickly thistles growing in a dense thicket amidst a mass of Yellow Sweet Clover—all flourishing in an abandoned empty lot beside the railroad tracks. The striking tangle of vegetation bestowed a spectacular and flamboyant splash of colour on an otherwise drab looking landscape.
Years and years ago,
when we first met, so young and soaring high
on possibility, music and crazy love—
you showed up somewhere, purely unexpected,
and I first understood “my heart leaps up”.
And still today, expected or not,
whenever I catch a glimpse of you,
with even the very thought of you,
my heart leaps up and up—
still crazy in love,
still crazy in love,
still crazy in love—
From my poetry collection entitled: Honeyed Poems for Bear
For my Sweet Bear:
Thank you for reading to me. Thank you for singing with me. Thank you for dancing with me. Thank you for a lifetime of love.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees
on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
~ John Lubbock
Summer Heat Wave
I have always loved a good summer heat wave, but its been so hot here lately, that even I’ve been dreaming about cooler weather. Leave it to Little Danbo, though, to figure out how best to enjoy this heat wave—he spent the whole of the afternoon cloud-watching as he dreamily floated about in his new makeshift swimming pool.
The secret to a happy life:
love wherever you are,
do only what you love
and love everything you do.
~ BJC (my partner)
Making Flapper Pie
The Danbo Brothers caught wind of my plans to make a Flapper Pie today and hung around the kitchen all morning waiting for me to start. They just love doing anything in the kitchen. In fact, as far as I can tell, the Danbo Brothers seem to enjoy everything they do. For them, there is no such thing as work—it’s all simply just play. No matter how hard they work, it’s all fun and games to them.
“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A Time to Gather Strawberries
Strawberry Moon is the name the Algonquin North American Native tribes so aptly gave to June’s full moon because they knew it as the time to gather ripening strawberries. Although neither the wild mountain strawberries nor the plump green berries growing in my strawberry pot have yet ripened, our locally grown field-ripened strawberries are starting to flood the farmers markets. Each year, with my very first bite of that first red strawberry of the season, I am instantly transported back in space and time to a visit to my grandmother’s house as a little girl.
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly,
“one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Anderson
Bumping into a Good Friend
Several summers ago, as I stepped out onto my balcony garden, I literally bumped into my good friend, the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. It was a beautiful, hot summer’s day and the vertical blinds of our sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony garden were closed to keep out the heat of the late summer sun. I was working in the kitchen when I heard some commotion on the street below. Curious as to the cause of the sound, I decided to step out onto the balcony to have a look-see. But, rather than open the vertical blinds so I could step out unimpeded, I lazily threaded one arm between two of the vertical panels, parted them, and gingerly placed one foot out onto the balcony. Half out, with one foot and one arm through to the other side and my other arm and leg still inside, laced between the vertical panels of the blinds, I bumped smack into a little Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.
One of the early incarnations of my balcony garden, complete with a little pond.
A Surprise in the Reflecting Pool
We are having a gloriously early spring this year and I am starting to prepare my highrise balcony for the yearly planting of my container garden. I’ve been small space gardening up here on my balcony for many years—it’s one of my favourite summertime joys. Who says you can’t grow a garden in the sky?
Love is a funny thing. More often than not, the popular notion of love is confused with romance or other feelings, like infatuation, lust, insecurity or even jealousy and possessiveness. When I was very young, I learned the hard way that what I thought was love on my part, wasn’t. But isn’t that what those early relationships are for? To put yourself out there and learn from your own life experience what makes the stuff of good relationships?
For me, spring officially kicks off with the arrival of Peter and Lillian, two fanciful rabbits who have been turning up here each spring for eons.
Evidence of their existence came many moons ago. It was Easter break and I was in my second year of undergrad studies, buried up to my eyeballs in textbooks and study notes, frantically trying to prepare for final exams. I had a heavier course load than my friends, who had all taken off to go somewhere fun, while poor, poor me was stuck in the study hall. Continue reading →
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust
The Wayward Brothers Come Home
During an extreme cold weather snap in the midst of winter, the Danbo Brothers mysteriously vanished after I sent them off on an emergency mission to replenish my chocolate supply (see my previous post: The Wayward Brothers). Many weeks have passed since they set out on their assignment and some believed I would never see them again. But, just as I always knew they would, the Danbo Brothers have returned!