Friday, May 11, 2007

the road less taken

Is it me or has the outside world suddenly erupted into green, yellow and blue abundance?

Every single day I look at my shade to part-shade front garden and it doesn't take much examination to note the changes every single day. This morning there are buds on my wild phlox and I suddenly remember how much I LOVE that plant. For a few beautiful weeks each spring, it gets covered in a profusion of surprising light purply blue flowers, and judging from its buds this morning, it's about to burst forth in blue.

[To continue down the native plant garden path, check out my latest post at mommy blogs toronto. But come back! Or stay here and click there when you're finished here... whatever.]

* * *

Inside, the shift to summer is more gradual. I get occasional shocks of recognition as the scents and sounds of summers past become present.

The clinks of another family's cutlery on plates marking the end of a distant meal float through our open windows. A neighbour's barking dog threatens Swee'pea's precarious sleep.

Heavy rain slaps the pavement after spilling out of the neighbour's broken old eavestroughs that have lost their downspouts.

I open the bathroom window and am nearly bowled over as the familiar scent of warm roof shingles meets fresh bathroom soapiness, and together they blow over the stairs.

Our minds begin to turn to old summer menus during the daily ritual of deciding what to have for dinner. Last night, potato salad with green beans and red peppers in a wasabi balsamic vinaigrette with veggie burgers. Tomorrow night salmon fillets with asparagus and fresh tomatoes.

Of course my freshest summer memories are from the other side of the earth just a few short months ago, and I find my mind tugged again and again back to the tip of Africa, where mountains butt into the split of two oceans. I pull out Swee'pea's summer clothes that he last wore in South Africa, and some of them even still fit.

The last time we were there, I remember we were both less enamoured of the place than we had been two years before, more aware of the inconveniences and discomforts of away. We said we would wait longer than we initially planned for our next trip. But that place pulls on me nevertheless, and I can't remember the rational discussions and reasons for waiting to return, only the joy of exploring the difference, of warm evenings and sharp brown mountains against pink skies. I thought I'd gotten the place out of my system with this last visit, but I am once again hungering to live there, to immerse myself in it and learn how we would adapt our lives and selves if we tried to live there for a while. So I guess we'll have to see what the future holds...


Last night I taped the advance preview of Traveler, and today I watched it. It's got everything: handsome young men as protagonists (just call me grandma), intrigue, suspense and conspiracy. I'm hooked. I keep thinking about it, like it's a really good book that I can't wait to dive back into and find out what's going to happen next, the kind of book that I slow down reading right before the end and then get all sad when the inevitable comes and I finish reading it. I think I've found my summer tv show.


NotSoSage said...

Wow. Breathtaking.

I was just blaming my weak sense of smell on years of untreated seasonal allergies. I can't imagine ever connecting the smell of warm roof shingles, but I smelled it anyway, reading this post.

Mad Hatter said...

Lovely, Sin.

Suz said...

This post reads like a poem, and it was wonderful to just sink into the feelings of summer.

Christine said...

Three things I now NEED to experience:
1) Those beautifully described mountains of South Africa.
2) Wasabi balsamic vinaigrette
3) Traveler. I missed the advance preview. Bummer.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

That's happening here too, that transition to summer. This morning I opened my bedroom window -- it faces the neighbor's driveway so usually it's closed -- just so the scent of blooming flowers would permeate the house. Even though it made us all sneeze!

Aliki2006 said...

Gorgeous post, c.g. -- I'm looking forward to some retrospective posts from your South Africa trip--I'm curious how your perspective might have changed now that you're back, and beginning summer.

nomotherearth said...

For me, summer starts with fresh fruit that tastes better than candy (!) and the smell of lilacs on a hot day.

What's this about Traveler? How have I never heard of it?