"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Country Drive

I've just returned from chauffeur-ing my girls to their hilltop B&B. Though I hate parting from them, however temporarily, it's one of my favourite country drives.

I travelled low roads with frost heaves far, far worse than in our neighbourhood, and had to ford a place where a stream had flowed right over the road. The field where I always spot a flock of turkeys in autumn is still snow-covered, so I didn't see any today. There are many horticultural enterprises along the route, big nurseries and small backyard operations, one of which had lost some of their greenhouses to the heavy snow load.

Beyond the greenhouses the road winds up, up, up, to the ridge where the maple sugar houses are. No signs of boiling today, but I did see some old-fashioned sap buckets attached to trees. I was excited to see a huge flock of robins.

After delivering Ruth and Jewel to their caretaker, I wound my way down, down, down, back to farmland. I stopped to photograph a favourite property, a place where I sometimes purchase tomoatoes in summer, leaving my money in the "honesty box."

Can you see spring in this picture?

Look closely at the giant tree. The gilding on that willow is a very promising sign! Willows are always the first to wake up.

On my way home I encountered other signs of spring--on signs.

At the feed and seed store: TIME TO ORDER CHICKS! I'm tempted, after seeing what bounty Nan's have provided for her household.

A couple of miles on, at the garden center: TIME TO PLAN PROJECTS!

From start to finish, my trip took the shape of a a big circle. Or, more accurately, it was a frying pan or skillet-shaped route. A circle with a handle (the road to the kennel).

Although we woke to find a dusting of snow on the ground, now it's just a memory. After a sunny start to the day, it's now gone all cloudy--no, wait, the sun is back!--and the wind is roaring. However, the Lodge thermometer tells me that it's 52 degrees. Melting has exposed a few of the large stones in the wall that surrounds my front rose garden. Progress!

The journey has exhausted me--still under the weather and frustrated by it. And I've so much on my mind. Perhaps that's why a fave Dar Williams song (with John Popper on harmonica and backing vocals) has been playing in my car and in my head all morning:

And I've been running uphill, panting, punching at the air,
Fighting what's been pushing me down, as if it's really there.
And so I asked the light of the day, what's this rush for heaven,
Then I saw a bird fly away, and I could not ask again.

It's on The Beauty of the Rain cd. Very highly recommended.

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