Spring, #DemocracySpring, Spring into action

After days in the garden digging up the encroaching weeds and grass, pruning back terrifying thorny roses, holding the vibrating weed eater steady in my hands, I can stand back and view the newly cleaned out beds. Perhaps it is the farmer’s DNA in me from both sides of my family that sends me bolting out of the door barefoot and armed with shovel or rake. My mother’s people from West Yorkshire knew things about the land that I could only squint at. My grandmother and grandfather raised things, had many different types of honey labelled and stacked in the honey shed. The jars of preserves were in the cold cellar. And making do was something prideful.


Daffodil line up

Daffodil line up

My father’s people were Serbian. Even when my grandfather moved to a farm in Portland, Oregon which backed onto a rail line, Emile Covitch kept chickens, rabbits and a cow. His yard had trees that were spliced to maximize the variety given the space. One of the only pictures that was passed down to me of him, shows a stout, square man proudly holding a rope tied to his cow.


out the door

out the door

I have other projects, like the book about my trip to Europe which are waiting. But I can’t force myself to stay inside writing. I want to be painting new shining surfaces on my deck, on my fences. I want to be crouching over rearranging bricks into another sitting area.
My nails are broken off and perpetually rimmed in dirt. My feet are getting callouses because I garden mostly barefoot.

new hope

new hope

But I feel such a release of hope when I plant a garden.
It is exactly how I feel about Bernie Sander’s run for president and about the action of #DemocracySpring. There is a sense of escaping from out of the enclosure of sadness and futility that has surrounded so many for so long. I spend anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a day sharing good news about Bernie. Because I am of farmer stock. And I believe that seeds planted with care and optimism lead to a beautiful garden.

New hope

New hope

August Fades

The clouds overhead today floated in a brilliant light tone of prussian blue sky. At the start of day the clouds were muted but as the sun moved across the sky to flare the blue to a vibrant pastel the clouds burned white. Now, as the sun sets the edge of all the clouds is neon rayed. Like the last days of summer, for a few lingering moments the intensity of smudged color hangs in the air.

long shadows moving on summer lawn

The sky is shifting. Grays in multitude of shades hang in the silver air. Seasons shift. Lights shift. Colors shift in this period between seasons.

I mowed my lawn today with my wonky, cartoon-wheeled lawn mower. The axel is bent on all of the wheels so they roll around at various positions of 45 % angles. It works. It cuts the grass. And it didn’t cost me much. The green kingdom with its six mum plants and the last two roses waving their orange flag looks orderly. The care and attention I put into my lawn is easy to see.

I have trimmed back the lavender bushes so that a body can pass up my walkway to the front door without having to kick back the seedy stem heads. All that was trimmed, I am placing in net bags to give to friends. Their purpose is to promote tranquility.

Squeezing the bag causes the air to fill with the memory of the purple blossoms swarming with bees in the warm air of summer. The pollinating, the creating of blossoms are instantly recalled as the thumb sinks into the tiny pillow of dried plants.

I love summer and inevitably go through a kind of reluctant farewell to the heat and brilliant colors. There is sadness in the chill air after sundown.

The beginning of summer always holds promise. This year I will play more. This year I will find the loved one. This year I will be the carefree child creature I am at core.

As the promise of summer passes away, I recall which promises I have kept to myself.

being aware t

my choices help to create who I am

I have gotten the yard in shape; painted the fences; painted the deck; renovated the kitchen; dug up and replanted my garden beds; gone to school in Boulder, Colorado where I earned an A on my M.F.A. course; maintained my commitment to body building; connected with new people in order to build friendships. My nearly 4 thousand kilometer trip from Kelowna to Boulder, Colorado; on to Denver, Colorado; visiting Portland, Oregon and returning home was out of my comfort zone and an accomplishment.

However within myself, I have carried with me a certain sadness that has been there most of my life. Some days it is active and pressing on me. Others I just ignore it by getting busy and moving toward my goals. Feelings of not being safe when I was young, not being loved are smaller and less insistent.

Roses my neighbour bought for my birthday

What I have learned in this last year is to ask for help. I am going out the door more often to be in the company of friends. I stay calm in difficult situations and can solve what needs to be solved without drama.

My body is healthier. My outlook is more optimistic. I am finding it much easier to understand what is happening when negative emotions arise. It is very rarely that I find myself justifying my behaviour or condemning myself for a stupid error.

Body building, eating well and eight hours of sleep

What has helped me the most in my journey is the idea of no story. Things just happen. The sun has set. The sky is now edging turquoise to navy blue clouds. It just is.

companionship in the falling light

I am proud of myself for not sinking down into distracting negative behaviors to deal with emotions which come up. I have seen what drinking alcohol does to the mind, to the ego, to the personality. I have observed my financial tail spin when I tried to buy my way out of distress. So standing emotionally “undressed” in the wind of what is, is my choice. Ultimately, it is easier.

Why did that happen? Why did the relationships not work out? Why am I feeling stuck or lost in a particular moment? It just is. When the cold water of the lake is moving up my ankles and then drawing back again, I watch the movement and feel the temperature and texture. It just is.

We all have our own lessons. We are like children sitting in school with a worksheet, head resting on a hand. It is hard, so hard that we stick out our tongues, we hold the pencil awkwardly. We try an answer. We hope.

May you continue to dance through the autumn with a smile upon your face.

Monday, Bridge Opening Ceremony behind us.

The flowers provide a path


Always a point of reentry

the re try

the terminus of all that passed

We begin.

Co-ordinating calendars

flipping pages to see

what lives we have scheduled.

We try to reconcile our pace

like two oxen

neither pulling the other

off the road

too far by Friday.

Intermittent rain coming down today and the lupin are gloriously blocking the walk way up to the house. They create a gauntlet of beauty. I look from side to side and thank them as I descend from the steps. A floral yielding as we walk. Cameron finds it annoying, the journey through underbrush.

The Rotary Auction went well and both pieces sold so both the club and I made some money. Beautiful editorial in the paper by the associate Dean of Arts at Okanagan College, Stan Chung,  summarized a great deal of what I have been following as the implementation of Urban development to create livable spaces. It was excellent to see the ideas presented together and the tone is not one of chastisement or bitterness but rather factual and optimistic. Excellent.

The images of the throngs crushing together to cross the bridge raise in me a desire to continue to stay out of throngs. On the day the bridge opened, I was the first one to use a pitch fork and clear out a dandelion patch in my backyard. The flowers and plants watched in amazement. Birds overhead flew back and forth collecting the images on their retinas. There was a general sense of occasion and a swelling of the wind to applaud my efforts. I came in under anticipated time for completing the project and fully expect that the problem is now permanently solved. Henceforth, there will be no more dandelions in my backyard. Yeah!

Friday fierce sun

Some random thoughts.

What if there were an “Angry Man” frozen dinner? The giant in Jack and the Bean Stalk could have come home and asked for it? Fee Fi Fo Fum, Angry Man dinner. From the car to the table in one temper fit.

What if someone put a cut out of Farmer MacGregor with his shot gun standing in wait for bunnies on Enterprise Way in Kelowna. The city has now hired a “culling” company to shoot all of the insurgent released former pets. Would it be seen as an infringement of copyright and get national attention? I hear the Beatrix Potter estate is vigilant.

What if someone demonstrated “Right to Life” on Enterprise Way to protest the slaughter of rabbits via shotgun within the city limits?

What if the new green plan for inner city was pouring green colorant into cement? Would we be fooled? “Oh, an urban forest. How relaxing.”

Our city has geese, rabbits and marmots which are considered pests. Why can’t these be served at the Bridge Opening to cut expenses? Kebab is everybody’s favorite barbecue. Who would know?

The first people over the bridge, Hey, wouldn’t that be the workers?

What if people had to pay in advance to talk to artists, then artists would make money, maybe even a profit. 1-888-chatart?

What if developers made a presentation that didn’t say, “It will attract tourists.” Instead, what if they said , ” It will attract local citizens.”

No more randomness- ploting the plot!

The front yard is magnificient, trimmed and I am fooled into thinking the natural world can be tamed. The English heritage of creating a rolling green punctuated by roisterous crowds of flowers makes me feel as if I had a Monopoly sized version of a great estate. Ah grandure and control. I have managed to fool myself again.

The backyard on the other hand is a construction zone where stalled projects wait. This year…. we promise ourselves. The area I am setting my sites on is 10 by 10. I believe that by claiming calmness for this small area the illusion of control of the universe will soothe my delusional mind in the short term. Respite, a meditation area in the shade out of the fierce sun. Not this Friday, but one Friday.

What if?Why tulips are not taken seriously