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good times

Supreme bliss: the garden on a quiet, sunny afternoon. Cardinals, blue jays and a pair of robins at the feeder as well as the usual flocks of finches and sparrows. Daffodils pushing through. The delicate plants – the oleander, bougainvillea, mandevilla, geraniums et al – that wintered in my bedroom are exploring the outside once again, though they still come in at night. My timing could not have been better – spring has arrived full blast and the whole city is opening wide to the warmth. I hear – a distant siren and airplane; much twittering; my neighbour sanding something. I smell – leaves, grass, spring. A breeze on my face. I see green.

Rode my bike to the market this morning – hot bagels and smoked salmon, apples, sausages, for tomorrow’s brunch. My ex is in town with his family, and tomorrow is our pregnant daughter’s 34th birthday. So much to celebrate. Anna’s Dad Edgar, his wife Tracy and daughter Greta Lee, her brother Sam and his new girlfriend CJ and various others – Anna’s best friend Holly, perhaps Thomas, Eli’s father – are coming here for brunch. It’s the local Forsythia Festival five minutes away in Wellesley Park, ideal for a 4 year old and nearly 3 year old. So we will be hanging out all day in Cabbagetown.

I could not be more grateful for the haven of my garden and home, for this city not prone to earthquakes, for this country which, though it’s been going in 100% the wrong direction of late, is still relatively decent, stable and peace-loving. I am grateful to know what’s in my fridge, to know what I’m going to do today and tomorrow and next week. Ran into a friend at the market who, when she found out I was just back from Europe, said, “I bet you didn’t want to come home!” and I looked at her as if she was insane.

Jet lag is finally leaving – have been waking at 5.30 and 6 a.m. since my return, getting woozy after supper – and I’m getting out summer clothes, sandals, putting away the heavy sweaters, buying new perennials, opening windows that have been sealed since November. Let the sunshine in, as they sang in Hair. The suuun shine in.

I also spent time yesterday reading the draft of the memoir I wrote in Paris – and I’m happy to say that living in the cold drizzle without the internet or friends or family or a garden or any of my countless distractions was worthwhile. It’s a solid second draft. Much much more is needed, but I did good work.

I think.

RIP Ben E. King.

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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.

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