I have been waiting for the first day outdoors without a scarf up to my eyes, but never expected it to come so soon. In the spring, when the sun starts to feel warm, I sometimes roll down the window in my car as I wait at the lights. Well, it was today! I was in a parking lot when my daughter called. We talked for over a half hour with the window wide open. Ah, the sheer joy of warm sun rays! It’s the Canadian heaven.
I once told a neighbour, a mathematician, that as an artist I noticed that in nature patterns often repeat in a smaller and smaller recurring shapes. To my amazement he replied that a whole branch of mathematics called fractals is devoted to this. Now the patterns in this tree, the veins of a leaf, or even the human body, seem even more mysterious.
While the garden is asleep it’s busy above ground. We don’t see much more than snowdrifts when we look out the window, but the tell-tale footprints relate a different story. One of these scuttling creatures got in between our floorboards and was rummaging around at night. Sadly we had to address it before it chewed our house down. I wonder if these little critters ever take down time, it sure doesn’t look like it.
The weather gods decided to give us a treat and, just as our daughters are about to arrive for Christmas, they turned Edmonton into a winter postcard. This would be corny on a calendar but in real life it’s magnificent. They will have a Christmas of childhood dreams – and shopping mall songs.
It’s hard to imagine that so much white could exist outside my window. It snowed all day and all night. People are wading through the snow as if in a rice paddy and not a speck of dirt is anywhere to be seen. It’s an auspicious sign for the garden as roots start to die when they get below -10 C. Every inch of snow provides extra insulation. My plants must bet sleeping soundly and will wake up refreshed and ready to bloom.
Now that the winter is back – and we are expecting about five months of it – I am going through flower withdrawal. But there is a solution. I can’t build a greenhouse this year, maybe never, but I can grow more flowers indoors. One of my great discoveries has been the humble African violet. We now have about six of them in various colours around the house and at least one of them is blooming at any one time. It’s better than drinking a glass of wine on a cold winter night!
By the time of the summer solstice the Edmonton sun rises in the northern sky. It’s not quite there yet, but as woke up early this morning the garden was lit from the “wrong” side. What’s usually in the shade is now sunlit. Funny how such a small change can make the familiar seem eerie as if the world were on drugs.