Sunday, October 16, 2005


The cool fall weather gave way to a gorgeous day today in Southeastern Ontario. Warm sunshine, back into shorts. I had to spend the day outdoors.

I tended to the back lawn, which we hadn't mowed since August and had grown into a wild mop. Then I started cleaning out the garden: pulling out the now shrivelled tomato vines, the flopped-over beans, the yellow-flowered broccolis with sprawling mats of crabgrass hidden under their elephant-ear leaves. It's an end-of-summer ritual for gardeners, putting the beds to rest. There is always some sadness to this day, and especially this year, since the plants had flourished, and we had eaten abundantly.

I find it hard to watch the passage of time. Reminders of the turning seasons cry out from the great V's of geese, from the crimson and orange maples, from the frisson of frost beneath the sun's warm rays. And now, from the bare soil of my garden beds.

I visited with family over the Thanksgiving weekend and received some photos by email today. There was one of me, hovering over the family's newest baby, cooing into her rapt seven-week eyes.

Me, with crinkles around my eyes and deepened lines around my mouth. Me, with strands of grey that the camera picked up, despite colour rinses.

Me, showing the signs of the turning seasons.

I find it hard to watch. I pull out the stubborn roots of the cabbages with sympathy. I too want to grip the earth, continue to grow and be green.

I had always thought that by the time I had reached my 40s, I would have answers. But there's still an eerie silence where answers are supposed to be. I suspect that will be the same when I reach my 80s, if I'm lucky enough to live that long.

Working, playing, lovinge, solitude - turning like the four seasons.

…stretching our youth as we must
Until we are ashes and dust
Until time makes history of us.


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