Sitting here just now, home after teaching at Ry tonight, glass of wine in hand, when an enormous raccoon sidled up to my back door and peered at me through the glass. I wonder if he’s feeling the cold too. What a strange spring it has been – cold and hot and cold. Or, as a friend said, “This is what spring is!”
Sunday I went for a walk/jogette down the Don Valley Trail, where the trees are the freshest green and things are just starting to grow. Walked back up through the Farm which is as beautiful as it has ever been, thousands of tulips, daffodils, narcissus – just stunning.
That night, to my piano teacher Peter Mose, who’d invited the fascinating Alan Gasser to speak about his life and his singing and choir work, specifically, his interest in Georgian music, strange atonal music from the Caucasus Mountains. He distributed song sheets and we ended up singing some. Now that’s a unique experience, singing atonal Georgian music on a rainy Sunday night in Cabbagetown.
Monday was Eli’s seventh birthday party, and luckily the sun was out. When I got there, I asked him how many kids he was expecting. “Oh, about a hundred,” he said casually – and seriously. “I have a hundred friends.”
I thought, this kid is seven and he has a hundred friends; he’s set for life.
In fact, there were only about 20. That is, 20 kids around the age of seven, plus Ben at 3 who wants to be part of everything his big brother is part of. And with the miracle of my daughter’s organization and Eli’s dad Thomas’s keeping an eye on things, much was the joy. They tore through the back yard and ended up in the laneway behind, rocketing up and down on bikes, skateboards, scooters, and a wagon, screaming with pleasure, while the parents sat with a beer in the yard and Anna prepared the usual mountain of food in the kitchen. It was the best yet, she said after, and I believe her.
What was marvellous, as always, was the multicultural nature of the group, from every corner on earth. One of the guests was a young woman Eli describes as his girlfriend, so I checked her out with a critical eye. Cute, very cute. But is she good enough for my grandson? Stay tuned.
I gave Eli, among other things, a Harry Potter wand and glasses. Big hit. “He and Ben are waving the wand and turning each other into lions,” Anna told me next day.
Today, Mr. Wu the electrician arrived to try to ascertain what was wrong with the dead kitchen outlet and the stove. After much inspection, they concluded that the outlet is broken and will require a great deal of destruction of drywall to fix, so – not happening for now. The stove, which stopped working at exactly the same time, is not a result of the broken outlet, it simply broke all on its own. Of course it did. A repairman arriving tomorrow. And so it goes. On and on into the broken reality of 308.
But despite this chilly spring with so much rain, despite the fact that I might have to buy a new stove, maybe a new fridge, the ongoing crippling expense of this ridiculous house – despite all that, I am newly strong and cheerful. I know where things are. After a long chaotic winter, I’m organized and together.
Lucky lucky lucky. And I will not forget it.