Friday, June 3, 2011

Spring Has Sprung & the World is New, etc.

"I'm not afraid to use words like 'wonderful.' Sometimes it's the only word you can find when you're high on the world.  Robert Genn (from my Polestar Planner, a daybook without which I am lost, even on Lennard Island's 19 hectares)

I've been back a full week since leaving the island on May 3rd, bound for Book Tour #3, beginning at the Village Bookstore in Bellingham, Washington. I read Jim Lynch's novel, Border Songs, a sweet romp about cross-border shenanigans and the vagaries of the human heart, all set in the region I was travelling through once I drove off the Anacortes ferry.The rain poured, really poured, and my Google map had, along with my shaky sense of directions and big trucks obscuring road signs at critical moments, gotten me lost in the tulip fields of La Conner. I found a 1935 gem, the Rexville Grocery on the Mount Vernon Road, and inbetween buying some of their excellent cheeses and crackers for my supper, I was given accurate, local directions to Bellingham.
Then on through the rain to surprise my 86 year old Mum for Mother's Day, when the sun shone in the Okanagan, and onward to give presentations for children and adults at Kootenay libraries. The lilacs graced every humble home and downtown alley and the sun kept shining and the wild syringa gleamed whitely on the mountainsides. I was smitten all over again with the beauty and friendliness of the Koots. I use my 'I (insert heart) Nakusp Library' bag proudly!
So I zoomed around Nakusp, Cranbrook, Fernie, Fruitvale, Rossland, Kaslo and Grand Forks libraries and schools, a happy whirlwind of readings and questions and seeing old friends and experiencing the joy of having children spontaneously join in singing 'You Are My Sunshine' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'. While the excellent Kootenay librarians had a conference, I drove on to Canmore and the Cafe Bookstore, Pages On Kensington in Calgary and Monkeyshines Children's Books in Calgary, and the sun shone and shone while my Dear Heart and other coastal friends emailed to advise me to soak it up as the wet stuff still lingered on the coast.
I was very happy to do an interview with Brenda Finley from CKUA's Bookmark program (to air Sunday, June 5th, 11:30-12:30 PST) and to see Penny Loves Wade, Wade Loves Penny climb onto the Calgary Herald bestseller list at #9 as well. But now I am home, sweet home, and the garden has claimed my attention. As I potted and planted and weeded and composted, hoping for a better year than 2010 when the fog rolled in for two months straight and stunted the gardens permanently, I remembered the bounty of 2009 and then an ecstatic ode to one day on Lennard. So, ever-hopeful, like farmers and artists tend to be, here is my spring poem for you. Copyright, of course, as is everything in Woodward On Words, in case Google or Cancopy need reminding! Harrumph, ahem, here goes:

Lighthouse Keeping
I slept for seven solid hours straight waltzed into the perfect
early dawn admired the stars a meteorite examined
the lights of a ship at sea delivered my first weather report 4:34 a.m.
read a wonderful novel for two whole hours in bed
with a large and excellent mug of coffee and my VHF radio beside me
started a batch of sourdough bread gave my second weather report 7:41 a.m.
checked the rain gauge the tanks the lines the engine room
washed two days worth of dishes (water rationing continues)
punched down the bread wrote a new poem a waka
revised five mondo poems watered the garden and greenhouse
delivered my final weather report 10:38 a.m. punched down the bread
sawed scrap wood and old plastic eaves troughs filled two giant bags
washed bird guano off the guard rails sanded blistered patches
painted 400 metal metres with Coast Guard red enamel in 32 degree heat
watched two humpbacks spouting off counted ten boats fishing coho and chinook
punched down the bread made two ciabattas one pagnotta
answered five emails in my sarong sipped an icy g&t
nuked homemade spinach manicotti wolfed hot bread and butter too
pulled on jeans picked two rows of peas composted all the vines
washed my feet brushed my teeth revised my waka nailed the last line
wrote the first draft of this poem smiled to myself took two Advil fell into bed

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