Big Picture and Small

It’s been hot here in Manitoba. Forest fires are already raging north of us and the birds regularly stop by to take sips out of our birdbath.

Meanwhile, down in the U.S., the government recently decided to do away with all the regulations that were put in place following the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent economic slide and and here, a lot of the talk is about oil…

As I listen to CBC, or watch the news, I can’t help but think about Swarm.

I can’t help but think about all of my research and how the world seems to be swinging towards a future somewhat different from my imagining but still influenced by that eventuality – the decline of cheap energy – and others that I didn’t fully explore: the terrifying impacts of climate change, the perils of technology, the cracks in democracy…

A sequel? Maybe. More likely a whole other take.

But that’s the big picture.

The smaller one I’m finding fulfilling and deeply enjoyable.

Photo by J. Mills

Our crabapple trees are in full, riotous, fragrant bloom with bees busy feeding off their nectar, and last weekend J. and I put in the bird garden plants we purchased from Prairie Originals.

The native grasses – big and little blue stem, prairie dropseed – and nectar plants – false sunflower, prairie violet, fireweed, blanket flower – are all establishing well, as are a patch of milkweed that J. germinated and the yarrow and wild strawberries I moved from other parts of our property.

We are having loads of fun reading through our stack of gardening books and making big plans to transform our 1.38 acres into a naturescape, certified through Fort Whyte. Already, with the birdbath, the garden, and three feeders, it seems to be rapidly becoming a bit of an aviary. I love having my morning coffee with the chattery yellow goldfinch.

And speaking of Swarm, I’m also thinking about getting a hive…

As far as current writing goes, what’s gurgling up lately is poetry.

This seems fitting.

There is something about spring, with its fragments of colour, its awakening earth, its frail sprouts and vigorous shoots and feather-flashes that feels poetic to me.

Like the Canada Thistle stretching its stubborn underground roots, the poems creep along, greedy for nourishment, rising out of the dry, rubbly clay soil of one perplexing part of our yard.

My brother in most of them (of course), as well as birds, plants, the names of natural things that I’m learning. The world, with all its ragged pain, its streaks of sudden beauty.

P.S. Office hour this Sunday! Noon to one p.m. (Central Time). If you’d like to pop by for a visit, sign up for my email list for instructions (form in the sidebar) or, if you’re a subscriber, stay tuned for the usual link.

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