I had spent a very brief visit with my family in Toronto last summer after a four-day retreat. I always look forward to the long ride returning home to Montreal. It gives me time to adjust to the change of places and reminisce of things I did, people I saw and the life I once had here. I had time to think of my new personal mantra I was given which I could practice for over four hours and how much a part of my heart is still in this city I once called home.
Settling by the window, I allowed the train to rock me like a lullaby…chug chug chug…eyes focused on the city we are crossing, up above on elevated tracks…I am on top of the world and once we are further out, buildings become scarce. Kilometres of meadows, farms and the occasional crossings in smaller villages flash by…my eyes begin to feel so very heavy. I am sitting on the opposite side I usually sit for Lake Ontario is on the other side. I will be noticing a different view on this trip.
I see fields and fields of tall grass as it is time for the first harvest of hay. As we sped by I saw stacked bales of hay each farmer displaying his own mark…some tight round bales, some bales shaped like huge barrels and some square blocks. From the train they looked like mounds of hay or straw plants or shrubs.
The loud echo of the train’s whistle at some crossings roused me and I admired the sky changing colours as the sun began to set…the man across from me gave in to the lullaby but I am still like a little child fighting sleep always, in the event I just might miss something.
rocking on steel rods
fields flashing on fast-forward
a man snores
Vincent van Gogh said about this painting :
"... it does me good to do what’s difficult. That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word — for religion — so I go outside at night to paint the stars"
walking to the store
found it windy and chilly
felt my hands frosting
forgetting my gloves at home
hands in my pocket
writhed along slippery paths
looked up at the sky
so many glistening stars
mouth open in awe
dazed by such magnificence
this massive ceiling
of art looms over my head
exhaled sigh of bliss
feeling blessed to be alive
I smiled at the moon
“could I have seen him wink back?”
a fairy-tale night
I could feel it in my bones
would be happening tonight
I then felt a bump
with an awkward step, I slipped
fell flat on my back
arms spread to make snow angels
I winked back at the Moon.
snow circled around me
Working today from home, I was blessed to be spared braving the winter storm we are having here in Montreal. Although I would normally take public transit, I knew the walk on slippery and some slushy paths would not have been pleasant.
By the end of the day, I could see the rising temperatures had turned the snow to ice. What beautiful images I saw as I admired the bare-branches-no-more, and tiny icicles hanging on like tear drops. I felt elation and a sudden gust of childlike wonder. For long moments, I could feel my grief dissipate, replaced by mild sparks of enchantment.
After a snowstorm, it is like walking on another planet. The sounds are varied…I don’t need my earbuds…the winter air provides a concert. Hearing the muffled sound walking through fresh powdery snow …30 cm or more. Along the way you hear a flop and look around to see the weight of the snow on pine tree, flop, flop falling to the ground.
Hearing a crunchy sound on spongy snowy surface…makes you want to stop…when my children were little, I would lie on my back on the snow and wave my outstretched arms…we had made our first snow angels on this soft fluffy snow.
If it is warmer weather, the snow will be sticky and heavy…wonderful time to make a snowman or two or nice big fort!
Last winter we had such bitter cold days, not that much snow…well, for our standards in Quebec but the cold…brrrrr… the loud echoes of crunch crunch when walking is so vivid…I love that sound walking home late at night. It keeps me company walking alone. Wrapped in layers starting with cotton long johns, gloves covered with mitts, lamb lined boots, topped with duvet lined coat, my pilot hat, over a ski mask the air too cold to breath, cheeks prickling from the biting cold. Greeting other pedestrians and we can only see each other’s eyes, masked for warmth.
Of course I cannot, not mention, the unnatural sound but still, the sound that lulls me to sleep or puts me in a mellow mood, the concerto of snow plows part of the night across the street from my home is a huge shopping mall. And then the thundering boom of the road snow ploughs clearing the roads for morning traffic.
ice draped branches
shimmer with radiant glow
crunch echoes in biting cold
warm breath forms cloud puffs
whiff of burning pine
recalling romantic evenings
roar of busy ploughs
OurGhost Writer at Carpe Diem today is Gary Gay and our inspiration is October as the first full autumn month. I love that that photo chosen with vibrant colours is in Québec and near the Richelieu River where I raised my family.
Gary asks us to “Think outside the Box” when you use Halloween topics. It can be a good source of humour as well. Here is his example of thinking outside the box or misdirection.
Now for a the Halloween theme. Every Halloween I would dress up with my children so neighbours would NOT recognize me. Part of it was the fun of dressing up and walking around incognito and the other reason, I did not want neighbours to favour my children with extra treats. But I DID get treats as well…no one knew if I was man or women…they would talk to me in English to see if I was ME and I’d shrug my shoulders; they would try in French to see if I was the children’s father, and I would shrug again.
One year I dressed up as Count Dracula., with black dye in my short hair slicked back wearing a red lined long black cape. I had the pointy teeth and everything and traces of blood dripping from my lips in each side. As we arrived at the crescent there was a mom with very young children. One little girl looked up at me and started crying. I felt so bad but hugging her would surely have traumatized her more. I never wore scary outfits thereafter and dressed as a hobo the remaining years.
blood stained chin black cloak blows in autumn wind, little girl wails