View From The Glen

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Black-Eyed Susan's, tall clumps of them, are just starting to pop - a bouquet of sunshine tall and swaying behind the glorious deep rose crumple of yesterday's majestic peonies.

It's what I love about gardens in summer. Each gorgeous moment eclipsed by the next.

First it's the snowdrops, so tiny and perfect, and then the exquisite explosion of blossoms from  Apple and crabapple trees...the house bookended by aromatic pink and white divinity. The lilacs quickly follow, deep and perfumed in the evening air, and every open window is a delight. Bridal spirea, daffodils,  tulips and iris take their turn, and then the peonies, straight and tall and perhaps my favourite of all.

Leaving is difficult. We have loved living here in this little corner of Perfection. I bought Grace home...a 2 day old infant....and we sat under the shady boughs of Ash visiting with family. Erik and Anna, toddlers both, raced around the empty house, their tiny feet clattering across the pine floors. The family room was filled with chalk and art easels and wooden trucks and Lego. They rode bikes up the driveway (sometimes followed by one of the many orphaned lambs we raised), climbed the wide-Boughed maples, and swung in the hammock with books and laughter and songs.

Tiny clattering feet gave way to bigger ones....the days of soccer cleats and ski boots, book bags and discarded jackets strewn across the red tiled floor of the kitchen. The family room clutter receded, the serenity couch where we read stories remained. We still made bread on Mondays, and baked, and cooked, my little chefs chopping and kneading and mixing on the butcher block island.

Summer: the kids explored, chasing dragons in the enchanted forest, and going on hikes across the fields. In July we would search for berries, make pies. Winter: packing lunch, they would ski away towards the frozen line of the river....little adventurers, and me watching surreptitiously from the window. In December we would cut pine branches and bring them home in a dusky snowstorm towards the twinkly lights of the house to deck the halls.

Here there has been life. Dogs and puppies and cats and kittens. Rabbits and goats and sheep and lambs and calves. Darwin the Rooster. The miracle of birth and the inevitability of death. Jedi. Lady. Amadeus. Arthur. Tundra. Oliver. Gobbolino.

Here there has been nature. Growing Arugula, beans, peas. Checking for Potato bugs. Planting and watering and harvesting. Field to fork. Garlic scapes. Fresh rosemary sprigs. Sweet baby carrots. Early asparagus and rhubarb stalks tart and tasty.

When the children were still young, I would get up early, run up and down the driveway with the dogs; later on, I could venture further afield, getting in my 15 minutes of exercise. Come home. Clear breakfast. Walk to the school bus in a rush, a flurry. At the end of the day, walk home from bus slowly, enjoying the puddles and the flora and fauna of the ditches and driveway, matching my pace and wonder to theirs.

The meandering, dreamlike, seemingly-endless days of idyllic childhood.

But things change. Days move faster. School and work and extra-curriculars mean we spend less time here. Less time sitting on the veranda. Less time meandering the meadows and trails. Less time sitting by the stone hearth when the frosty nights draw in.

The kids no longer climb trees and follow mythical dragons. Most days I drive them to school, and we spend our evenings back in the city at karate, swimming, soccer, the gym. Hikes and snowshoe trails need to be longer, more challenging. They even mostly put their cleats away and hang up their coats.

It is time to move forward. To new adventures, new experiences, new memories.

It's what I love about life. Each gorgeous moment eclipsed by the next.

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