Sunday, August 14, 2011

restless hills

It's not that I want to live in the mountains. 
I don't mind this land that lies flat and lets the sky play over it,
lets the water carve its valleys,
unabashedly open for us to see
as far as we can see. 

But as we drive west for our holidays, over hills that grow increasingly restless,
there is one hill that banks a canola field to the right and then rises
and as we reach the top of that hill, the horizon explodes. 
That hill always takes my breath away. 

We used to live within sight of that jagged ridge, in southern Alberta.
If you drive the 22x from Pincher Creek up to Sundry,
you can have that living horizon on one side of you for a few hours. 

Mountains holding back the clouds, before releasing them in a torrent,
or letting them trickle over the ridge;
or putting a bridle on them, holding them in a perfect arc while the warm wind whistles through.

... anyway... as we drove, kept thinking of one of my favorite passages in Isaiah 55.12
"You will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you."


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

solar thirst ... and composting corners

Composting corner

 Three sentinals stand in the northwest corner of the yard.  I emptied one, right to the rich bottom loam and surprising day lily roots [those day lilies earned my respect by growing even when I threw the roots into the composter one summer ... refused to decompose under pressure!].  One is finished composting and ready to be distributed.  The third one was turned this morning, extra grass clippings added to the top, and now I'll let that stew for a month or two :) 

Amazing to me, how watermelon rinds, slimy potato peel, poplar leaves, carrot tops, cilantro stems, lemon peel, and other left over vegetable matter from our dinner table can weigh each other down, sink into the oblivion of those black bins, and end up as rich, pungeant crumbling soil to enrich my gardens.

Testifies to the transformative power of a Creator for whom there is no life or action that cannot be transformed...

One squirrel runs back and forth along the fence behind the composters.  By the time August rolls around, she takes trips back and forth all day long, going empty handed one way, and then returning with a peanut or some other treasure.  The blue jays are back too, letting the whole neighborhood know that there's food available, and that they are claiming the territory. 

I put a beautiful solar lamp into the back yard this spring.  It soaks up the day's sunshine, and when the night falls, sends out a soft white light.  These summer days reveal a solar thirst in me as well.  My laptop is plugged in on the deck, so that I can write and research outside.  I can watch the squirrels and birds occupy themselves in my space, and soak in the life and activity of this corner of the world ... saving the sunshine for the long Saskatchewan winters.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011



I finally discovered the culprit. Occasionally, after working in the back garden, or the compost, I'll come inside and find tiny little green burrs stubbornly attached to socks, pant legs, and shoe laces.  I'd go back to the areas where I was working, and find only day lilies, bleeding hearts, and something that looked like a blue forget me not. This was a very secretive and creatively mobile plant.  As I was pulling out some weeds that were trying to take over territory behind the back fountain, I took a closer look at the forget me not look alike.  Those innocent little blue flowers were in the middle of morphing into unbelievably stickly little burrs. 

Posted by PicasaBleeding hearts, ready to populate my yard.