Friday, October 6, 2017


I have a memory of waking up in the early morning hours
day still shrouded in darkness
heart beating wildly
in response to a frightening image 
from a childhood dream

light shining through my bedroom doorway
from the kitchen
where my mom stood behind an ironing board

preparing for the day 
in that quiet space 
after Dad had gone to work
before the children woke

steam rising
board creaking as the iron moved 
rhythmically back and forth

instantly calmed 
I drifted back to sleep

I explored abandoned houses on the land 
where my mom was born
huge expanse of sky and grass

horizons shaped for wind 
to gather speed 
gather dust or snow

horizons shaped to deceive
hiding river valleys with sand castles
disguising antelope frozen in place
creating a mirage of endless bison herds 
tipis puncturing the skyline 

trees new settlers on the grassland

"That tree wasn't there when I was little" 
my aunt remarked when she saw the pictures. 
"There were no trees."  

she looked at the pictures of a little house
told me about the stairs up to the attic where she and her sister slept
told me where the back door would have been, 
   the back porch where my grandfather would sit in the weeks 
   after the horses had bolted
   breaking his leg 
remembered her mom standing in the kitchen

Thursday, August 31, 2017

on the ground

my gardens are thirsty
sunflower stems are yellowing
tips of tomato plants are red, sucking up every bit of moisture and sunshine possible
kale curls untroubled by the heat
flowers in pots stiffen by the end of the day if they don't get another drink

we feast in this season of dry summer
basil pesto and tomatoes on pizza
cucumbers sliced and feta'd
apples picked by my grandchildrens' hands
last sweet raspberries

green beans still flowering ... undaunted by consistent slug attacks
(green beans win the persistence award of 2017)
rhubarb thriving despite a spring divide
petunias DO grow on the north end of my deck ... I will repeat next year

morning glories still climbing, still starting new seeds from the ground,
quickly flowering ... knowing that their season now is short
how do they know?

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Total eclipse through Randy's telescope.  

Love this man and his awe at the universe that God created and holds in His hand.

capturing the moments

deepening shadow - almost total 

diamond ring flash

light of the total eclipse - lasted just over 2 minutes

total eclipse shadow again

We couldn't believe it was over.  Time seemed suspended.
There was much yelling and awestruck exclaiming.
Someone just down the hill called out "the world *didn't* come to an end!" and everyone laughed.  

looking through the telescope at the sunspots  

and it begins

the light was starting to thin and we wondered if it was getting cooler

the temperature dropped close to 10 degrees, the birds were starting to sing evening songs, and it felt like dusk

staggering white light shone as the sun disappeared!

last glimmers of the diamond ring

almost full corona

First glimpse of the sun on the mountain that morning.
Yep.  We were listening to James Taylor play "Here comes the sun"! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

my geese

The little ones are pretty much as big as the parents now.  Their coloring is still a bit fainter, their feathers a bit fluffier. Parents stand protectively on either side of their brood, or between them and any danger. Some days I would see how close I could get to them as they stood on the bit of road that extended into their lake.  Most days they waddled into the water and swam away before I could get anywhere near them.
I've seen large gatherings of geese along the river, raising their families together, braving the walkers and bikers of Meewasin trail together, parents hissing at anyone who gets too close to the goslings.
But this family has been pretty solitary. Just mom and dad and the kids.

This morning, though, it looked like a family gathering at the lake.  I wondered if it was a group passing through, or a first sign of gathering for the fall (kind of like the first yellow leaf to fall from my poplar tree long before anyone should be thinking of summer's end), or a day's outing to a cool lake on the outskirts of the city - kind of a day trip.

As I turned off the main road I saw the limp body of an adult goose lying on the ground by the tall grasses.
I've heard that geese mate for life.
Do they call the family in when there is a tragedy as well?
Do they come to surround the babies and take care of them till things get figured out?
Maybe this morning was just a coincidence.
By the time I left for lunch, all the geese had gone.
Every one.
I sure wonder what happened at the lake this morning.    

Saturday, July 22, 2017

quiet mornings

the sky has wrapped the morning in a cool blanket

dragonboat races have begun in the city
and farmer's markets are organizing their produce on corner lots and river sides

the air is so still this morning
I've picked a bowl of raspberries and sit
down on the deck, hearing the irregular
knocking of a woodpecker close by
eventually he flies over to the newly pruned poplar and methodically makes his way up the trunk, circling and searching for his food
on the ground a flicker pokes around in the grass, and robins are finding worms
chickadees are playing in the trees - birds in a perpetual good mood

I sit still long enough for birds to forget that I am here
a sparrow lands on the railing of the deck and looks at me for a moment before flying away
a crow silently patrols the neighborhood with a straight fly-by
something pulses by ... a breath above my head on its way through the yard
I can't tell if it touched my hair or just disturbed the air around it
adrenalin surges thru me at the sudden brush with sparrow's flight

apples gradually bending branches toward the ground
honeysuckle berries turning red and orange
daylilies standing at attention, an army of orange against the fence
morning glory canopy thickening and lengthening

and a second fly-by just above my head.
maybe it's a thing they like to do - skim just above something on their flight path
I just had to sit still long enough
on a morning wrapped in fog

God, you reveal yourself to us in so many subversive and unassuming ways... Unclog our ears to hear you, and show us how to get rid of the clutter of our lives so that we make room for you... (from Common Prayers for this day)

Friday, June 16, 2017

silver mound

speaks a language children hear
whispers a silver hello 
little fingers drawn to weave 
through the velvety dome  

Friday, May 26, 2017

restless wind

a restless wind bothers the wind chime

blows the remaining blossoms off the apple tree
begins to throw poplar dandruff around the neighborhood

dandelions insist on poking bright yellow heads up in so many corners of the yard
 in crevices where nothing should be able to find space to root

one astilbe thrives and prepares to throw it's flower toward the sky

another astilbe emerges slowly ... to live or not to live, that is the question ...

and in the front, the dwarf apricot iris from my neighbor laughs out loud
I almost missed it

bleeding heart strings of pink and white

ready for little fingers to pick and pull them apart or give them away

it is the season for daily walk abouts