Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Early Autumn Haiku

September sunshine
is a cool, crisp, ripe apple
baked into a pie.

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The things you learn while waiting for the school bus

“Hey Mom! Booger dance, no punchbacks!”
Snort – “What?!”
“Booger dance, no punchbacks!”
“Just what does a booger dance look like, Love?”
Little Miss Shy from the bus-stop cuts in, as Bonhomme twists and hops.
“No Bonhomme, not booger dance – punchbuggy! Punchbuggy, no punchbacks!”

When I can catch my breath again after convulsing from laughter, I quietly decide not to explain that technically, it would be “no boogerbacks”.

Goose Song

The geese sound plaintiff to me this year, sorrowful.
Soulful.
They don’t change, of course, singing as they follow their instinctive migratory map.
They are permanently proud, peaceful, strong.
Enduring.
It’s me who hears them as sad, me who is heart-heavy.
CBC Radio talked recently about the power of sadness in music. By listening, and appreciating how well the composer and performers express that sadness, we communally transform that sadness into joy. Listening to Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, it’s ecstasy I feel, the true meaning of the word: a stepping outside of the self. A deep connection. The joy inside, through, because of the sadness.
As with geese.
Their sound weaves my life together, a seasonal recurrence. A musical movement.
I relish hearing them every time, every year.
They are my marker: another summer gone, another year lived, time told in honks.
Who am I this time?
Who was I last?
Every year I have this revelation, and am newly surprised: I am a deeper version of me. Like settling into an old coat, I am surprised I still fit, I am still comfortable.
The geese are mournful to me this year, their sound laden.
I don’t know why.
But that sad sound brings me joy, joy in the hearing of it.
And I do know that.

My water bottle runneth over

1. Watching an avid cyclist, all spruced up in spandex, towing his peddling young child behind him as he sweated up, down, over and through Gatineau Park.
2. Discussing it with Bonhomme.
3. Googling bike tows for young children.
4. Discussing it with Dearest.
5. Searching usedottawa.com.
6. Monitoring my e-mail for a reply from the seller.
7. Stopping a TV show to get a very excited boy in the car.
8. Driving to the seller’s house through a rainstorm.
9. Getting soaked in the three feet between my car and the seller’s garage.
10. Bonhomme explaining to me how the bike tow hook-up works.
11. The seller explaining to me how the bike tow hook-up works.
12. Discovering how perfectly my new car can fit a child bike tow.
13. Taking a break from bike tuning-upping to let the second rainstorm pass.
14. Teaching Bonhomme how to lubricate a bike chain.
15. Letting Bonhomme pump the air into the tires himself.
16. Negotiating a snack that could fit into my velcro underseat pouch.
17. Demonstrating how Momma is the training wheels.
18. Deciding the order of who gets on and off first (Momma’s first on, Bomhomme’s first off).
19. Learning to get our wiggles out on the ground, not on the bike.
20. Discovering just how on our doorstep the NCC pathway system really is.
21. Trees.
22. Three-wheeled, two-headed shadow.
23. Creek.
24. Little darling wooden bridge, no cars allowed.
25. Grampa’s new apartment building.
26. Seeing the Ottawa River glinting just ahead.
27. Listening to Bonhomme chanting “I think we can, I think we can!” all the way up the last hill.
28. Ducks.
29. Discussing biking to the Parkdale Market next Saturday morning with a backpack.
30. Seeing inukshuks lining the water.
31. Learning that ducks don’t like sunflower seeds all that much, but they do like peanut butter cookies.
32. Calling Daddy on the cellphone to tell him where we are and how we got there.
33. Trying not to skip stones directly towards the Canada geese.
34. Finding a souvenir skipping stone in the shape of an ulu (traditional Inuit knife).
35. Watching some people fish on the rocks, just like we did in Iqaluit.
36. Stopping on the way back to build our own inukshuk, complete with bicyle-helmet-shaped rock hat.
37. Watching the rain-soaked sunset, and discussing the “beautifulness” all around us.
38. Discovering what happens when Momma gets off first.
39. Bomhomme opting for the slightly longer way home.
40. Remembering every turn-off, mostly correctly.
41. Listening to Bonhomme talk to the world all around him as he coasted.
42. Saying goodbye to the bikepath and hello to the city streets again for the first time in two hours.
43. Feeling tired, sore and sweaty.
44. Watching Bonhomme’s eyes close in ecstasy on pan-fried fish and corn on the cob.
45. Knowing I made every inch of this perfect day happen.