Summer, finally

After 40 days and nights of rain, it seems, we had a brilliant spring day. Spring, I say, because tulips are just showing when they should have been gone almost a month ago. Scilla is just up and blooming in all its blueness; daffodils are getting brown and paper-like and falling over. They’ve had it. But this is all late. Only a few days ago, the temperature went down to 5 Celsius at night. It ought to be way warmer.

Mid afternoon today, I deserted my cyberspace companion, my loyal computer, and braved the bright light in my garden. The temperature had risen to 20 degrees. I mowed the back lawn with the rotary mower, cursing despite really enjoying the physical effort; swearing that I would get my own lawn mower when my ship comes in. Then I spent a good hour pulling out well-rooted dandelions on the front boulevard which is thankfully narrow; then gave that stretch of lawn a haircut as well.

At six, I gathered tools and my substantial collection of dandelion roots and leaves to put them away until tomorrow, which, according to the Weather Channel, will be as glorious as today. I congratulated myself on the now tidy stretch of lawn. I took a few minutes to take stock of the damage caused by the steady downpour of the past two days before I went in.

First was that the sweet, pale orbs of dandelion seed saw fit to make a stand on my front lawn. Where had they come from? I’d just pulled out a whole clear garbage bag of them three days before. So I took time to gently, ever so gently, cup each of these and get them into the now sodden and compacted collection bag before they could scatter and seed.

Then, some of the earliest showing tulips had lost their petals leaving only a narrow yellow green gizmo at the top of their long bare stem. The flowering cherry tree that was spectacularly beautiful two days ago has gone brown and saggy. The camellia has scattered brilliant pink blooms on the asphalt driveway. There’s not much left on the tree. A few of the early bloomers were going off. Spring was on its way out. Summer was edging its way in.

Lastly, the lawn has grown another two inches. That’s the Wet Coast for you. Heat and water. Jungle growth. Everything that I had mowed the day before will need re mowing by tomorrow!.

Mrs. Stepford and I were going to the Philosopher’s Cafe up near the Municipal Centre at quarter to seven and I was driving. I only had twenty minutes to get supper, get clean shoes on and get ready, so I rushed through a cup of coffee and an “eat-up” dinner of two weiners wrapped in bread, two oranges and a luxury dessert – a maple cookie. When we got to the cafe just in time for the philosophical fray, I ordered an Americano and plunked myself down very gratefully on a cafe chair, glad to be off my feet and simply relaxing.

The warmth of the afternoon had not abated. The accordion doors of the cafe had been folded to each side of the front wall, opening the cafe right out onto the sidewalk patio. Four men were having an animated discussion on the building of the new bridges over the Pitt and Fraser Rivers. Late shoppers were coming to and fro from the grocery store. Cars were shunting in and out of the parking lot. A woman with a small hairy dog walked by the open window frame tugging her recalcitrant pet behind her.

Nigel, our moderator, started to play his harmonica then got a few of us clapping in tempo. It caught our attention and we began our philosophizing.

It was a good topic – Is history really the lie most communally agree upon? It was attributed to Voltaire but when I went to look it up, I could find nothing to quite match it. The closest I found was

History is nothing but a pack of tricks that we play upon the dead.

Our group of ten stumbled through the first hour getting hung up on the definition of “History”, then of “communally” and then of “lie”. In fact, we skirted each definition and in the end were no further ahead, but we had talked. We all seemed to be in agreement with the basic statement that history was not an immutable fact but was open to interpretation depending on which side of the coin your were on. History was often written by the victor. Though there never was a vote, we seemed to communally agree that official history was self-serving and often packed with lies. The best kind of history was the kind on might find in a novel or a personal journal of someone who had lived through the time – someone who could tell what they felt like, how he or she was influenced or affected by the events that had occurred.

As a result of us all seeming to be on the same side of the debate, Janet proposed that we talk about our community’s fund raising quest for seven million dollars for a new local museum. That got us arguing!

There were those who felt that seven million was an outrageous amount of money to spend to house archives of the region. Some felt that the community’s history was only about a half dozen families and that the museum wouldn’t be broad enough in subject matter to engage the public to raise such a large amount of funding. So many people were from elsewhere. What benefit would they get from a museum of history they hadn’t even participated in? It looked like selling the idea would be a tough one.

Soon we wrapped up. It’s our last cafe before the summer and when we come back our Artist in Residence will be on to different things. We will need to find a new moderator for our group and we will need to find a whole new set of ideas to discuss.

Mrs. Stepford and I left the cafe at half of nine after some lengthy parting discussions with new members that we had found interesting – a woman pharmacist, another woman and her daughter. All three recent were immigrants who had joined the group for the first time.

When we got back home, I had a cup of tea with Mrs. S then came back home, just next door.

It was then as I made my way out to the sidewalk that I looked up and saw a three quarters moon in the clear night sky. The temperature had not gone down. The night was warm, dark and silky. Stars were out in profusion. The night sky with its patterns of light hung over the earth like a chenille draped blanket flecked with gold.

I stood, bathed in contentment. Summer had come.

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One Response to “Summer, finally”

  1. bluedragonfly Says:

    Nice post, very enjoyable to read…and I’m glad you’re writing history through this blog 🙂

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