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jiggety jig

Right now, I am eating a memory of France – squares of Lindt’s crème brulée chocolate bar, not available in Canada – and looking out at my grey, still dormant garden. I’ve just had dinner – opened the freezer and found a tub marked “Jewish penicillin” that I’d made to give to a friend and just frozen instead. Had chicken soup and then bread and cheese and chocolate brought from France. I’ve got a foot in both worlds, but not for long.

Toronto was not in its most welcoming mood this afternoon. It started to snow as I rode in the from the airport. And as the cab drove along the Gardiner, I mourned, as I always do, the foul mess of Toronto’s waterfront, completely blocked off by apartment buildings, a tribute to greed and incompetence. For a few minutes, I decided to turn around and go back. I’d just read in the Globe that the new right-wing television station opens today, ghastly news. My city has been taken over by a boor with no understanding of cities, my country is being devoured by a horrible prime minister and a horrible election.
And it snowed. Not a bud to be seen on the trees, not a flower anywhere. It was about 2 degrees. Not, as I said, welcoming.
But home. My house smelled wonderful – Sally, who’s been staying here, baked cookies and left them for my return. The crabby cat looked mildly interested for a minute or two and then went back to sleep. There were no unpleasant surprises in the mail, the plants were thriving, and one, my African violet, was in full glorious bloom. The birds were squabbling at the bird-feeder. Home.
I called my children and my mother, unpacked, ate some cheese, and then rode my bike to the Y, where I had a long hot shower and scrubbed off the dust of the journey. Nearly froze on the way there and back. But cold weather is the price we pay to live in this country.
The journey from Paris was uneventful. I watched Mike Leigh’s Another Year which I didn’t particularly enjoy despite being a fan of Leigh’s methods and of all the actors. Watched Toy Story 3 which was sheer pleasure. Read the Globe and got depressed, and spent the whole rest of the trip reading Just Kids by Patti Smith, a memoir of her youth and love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe. Her saga of New York from the 60’s on made me feel like the most boring person alive. What a life.
Now – lists of things to do. Life resumes. The good news is – I get to relive spring all over again, because surely it’s going to appear before long. Surely.
Paris is a million times more beautiful. France is better in lots of ways. But this is where I live, where my life is, my family is. I’m glad to be back in my own real world.
P.S. Just had a walk around the ‘hood. This morning, I heard that most French of sounds – as I walked to the metro, a woman came out of a bakery in front of me, breaking the top from her baguette with a crunch of fresh crust. This evening, on my walk, I heard that most Canadian of sounds – a kid in a back alley with a net, a tennis ball and a hockey stick, smacking that ball into the net, over and over.
There are croci and bluebells in people’s front yards and a thicket of daffodils at the farm. I saw a fat robin. There’s hope.



One response to “jiggety jig”

  1. clothing says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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