The Winds Beckon.
And here we are: in New Westminster, on a spry and twiggy April afternoon.
It’s nigh past time for a break from Computer-Land, and the Vast expanse of Turbulent Spring skies are calling. The sun has broken out from behind its Ancient Wintertime Mask of eternal grey.
Where we live, there’s a vast panorama of sky, looking northeast-ward. For some reason – perhaps a time of year where the Sun King duels with masses of Arctic Air – the sky has become a theatrical battle-ground of sun, cloud & blue. God’s paintbrush, and imaginative brush-strokes cause huge drama on this canvas.
And, of course, it invites me out of my lonely hut … into tentative and uncertain neighborhoods.
Actually, what spoke to me, is the Magnolias.
These enigmatic denizens of the boulevards – these are really the Harbingers of Spring. I’ve noticed them for about 10 or 15 years now. They seemed to have not existed before then. Perhaps they were smuggled here in clay vases from a subterranean pit in Shanghai.
I grew up with mainly Cherry Blossoms and Japanese Plum. Well, that was “good enough”, as it were. Back then, who cared? We, in our naive and green urbane-ness, we were too busy with low-cost distractions to be pursuing the sublime.
So, Spring (and a host of other Seasons) went largely unnoticed.
I noticed the Magnolias when I returned from Saskatchewan in the late 90’s. I remember seeing them on 6th Ave in New Westminster: skinny little boulevard trees that the Royal City’s planners had stuck into tiny holes in the sidewalk. These things were true “twiggies” – fashion models of the Plant World… anorexic, but lovely in their own homely way. Skinny, leafless sticks with large floppy wet-kleenex flowers that literally sprang to life like gangly gay teenagers, and died the next day. You had to be fast to get them.
Flowers don’t last.
But we seem to.
We, who grace the streets with Eye & Hear, Mouth and Strife. Lipstick and Leotards. The gallant Observers in this Free, EveryDay Parade of Life.