blue sky

this morning, and last night, and the night before

I go out into the garden before I'm fully awake in the mornings, last tendrils of sleep wrapping around the trellised peas and eyes a little blurry in the light of the already blue sky. My purpose is to pick greens for the rabbits' breakfast, but it is also a lovely way to start the day. This morning there were two juvenile crows just waking up in the big tree by the house, stretching their glossy black wings and shuffling their feet, looking down at me in the garden and making soft groggy sounds, and a squirrel already busy in the tree's higher branches. Last night we watched the Canada Day fireworks from our front porch. It was so nice to be home, and to lean against my husband on the porch rail. Earlier in the evening, we had walked through the park to the footbridge and watched all manner of boats streaming by towards the inner harbour- rowboats, kayaks, paddleboards, powerboats. People also drifted past on their bicycles, some with pockets bulging with beer cans, and families walked by in hordes, lugging blankets and lawnchairs. Coloured lights expanded in circles, hovered for an instant, some shimmering as they faded. Their spidery smoke shadows lingered longer, illuminated in the dazzling brightness. But you've all seen fireworks before.

Better still was the swimming in the afternoon - we slipped into a lake that was refreshing but not cold, shallow rocks to dive off, and I swam past water lilies, out to an island and under overhanging Douglas fir branches laden with cones and a steep shore covered in fireweed and pink spirea.

I made a crazy hippie necklace today, with a quartz point hanging from a large faceted chunk of blue kyanite, the rest a frenzy of twisted silver wire and gemstone beads. I made it for fun, not thinking I would actually wear the thing, and playfully named the creation "dreaming happiness" as only an ornament involving a large chunk of kyanite and multiple other coloured crystals should be called. I did try it on to make sure it was a reasonable necklace size though, and ended up wearing it to the grocery store, and out for dinner, and I felt so sad and mopey after I took it off this evening that I put it back on and am wearing it now. So that's that.

I'm not sure if I realized before beginning, but gardening is a labor of love. That, or folly, but we are just novices. I've been tugging out some kind of nightshade with white flowers and fruit like small green tomatoes. I had yet to identify it so left a few of the robust, sprawling plants in case they turned out to be a lovely elephantine wildflower that we planted in a misguided attempt to decorate the garden borders, or perhaps the best crop of accidental eggplants this island has ever seen. It turns out the stuff is American Black Nightshade, so I will definitely be removing the rest of it tomorrow. My greasy hair drove me to the garden (I know, the shower would have been an excellent choice, but the weeding really needs to happen around here somehow), where I weeded with angst and ferocity, and also patience and some mindful and methodical mulling, for hours. The moonrise found me sullen and tired, though the full moon shone bright opalescent in a gradation of sky all smokey blues and lilacs. I barely noticed the sunset light up hot pink along long, low clouds in the west. Later, in a lull in the dull popcorn sound of amateur fireworks and the wails of sirens towards town, Venus and Jupiter appeared, glowing brightly very close together, well beyond the branches of the big pine tree that towered over us. The darkening garden was quiet with the small rustles of an evening breeze, moths' wings, birds settling.

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out of the shade

This afternoon, still somewhat dazed from not enough sleep and stepping out of the shade-dark bakery and yesterday's grey drizzle into a dazzling blue-skied sunny spring day, I lingered in the street for a moment before starting the car. A moment was long enough to watch a miniature tornado of white-pink cherry petals spin down the street like an invisible whirling dervish delighting in the wayward blossoms. I start as a counter girl at -my favorite- our local bakery this week. I don't remember ever being so excited about a job before. It feels right.

I feel tonight's dinner deserves a mention: local happy eggs fried in organic butter, salt and pepper, a perfectly ripe avocado sliced haphazardly, a slosh of lemon juice, sprinkling of hemp hearts, generous grating of grana padano and handful of spring greens. Last night the man made pancakes with carob, cinnamon, ginger and raisins.

Today's porch-rail observations/ramblings: There's a crow in the closest spruce tree making rattle-croaks, like a glossy black wind-up clock counting up its own enjoyment. Soft wingbeats to my side announced a bird passing by, hedgebound. I turned to look and saw cherry petals glitter like snowflakes in the chiaroscuro edge of the shadow of a house. The clouds are a mottling, almost mackerel sky but too puffed and sprawling. Cirrocumulus castellanos, perhaps. The narcissus nod, thin green stems bending as six-petalled white stars and orange crowns bob. A moth that looks like it unfolded itself out of narcissus petals drags across the sky above the low garden.

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Of course the clouds were doing something different by the time I photographed them. Michette loves the sunshine.

on waking

Such mornings are these- a long slow blur from eyes opening to take in blue sky, a breeze lifting the curtain and soothing the face. And drift back, curled into my partner again, a warm tangle of legs.

The breeze blows me out of bed and in the bathroom, the water I splash on my face is heading under the city to the lake.

I tumble outside to spray water from the mountainside on my garden. Strawberries, endive, cilantro, they are surrounded by wild mint, yarrow, vetch.

As the day pulls me downtown, I pass striped cats in frame-less windows and walls of drooping hydrangea.

A stranger says hello and a funeral procession travels in scattered bursts out of town. At a coffee shop, I am letting the day and I catch up to each other, a long slow blur of blue sky.

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