So, spring. Change in the air. Our backyard a sudden chaos of birdsong: the chattering boat-tailed grackles, the red-winged blackbirds shrieking as they puff out their red patches, the sweet chirping of the robins. Yesterday, I took Mowat for a run on a dyke further up Rahl’s Island and heard the frogs, happily chanting on the edges of the flooding river, so loud they sounded like ducks.

More changes are unfolding around here, as well: in our house, our lives, my writing room. This week, I had a wonderful conversation with my agent about my new book. It might need more work but it’s alive, it’s vibrant, there’s blood pumping beneath the words. I’m happy.

While that draft’s being read by others, I’ve been doing different things. Through April, I wrote 24 pages of poetry – a good start to a third collection (some exciting news is coming next week about my second collection) – and it’s been a month now since we’ve been eating LCHF and I’m tackling short row shoulder shaping for the sweater I’m knitting and, oh, yeah, we’ve put our house up for sale.

There are a few reasons for this, but basically our plan is to move south sometime in the next couple of years. We want to be closer to family (which means: a non-regional airport). Since living up here, we’ve received two calls about sudden deaths and two bat-out-of-hell seven-hour drives south in the wake of such horrifying news is enough for me, thank you very much. After Tim died, we had to pull over a few hours in, on that dark and empty highway, so I could throw up. I thought I was having a stroke (out there, hours from the nearest hospital, with no cell service).

Instead, I want to be able to jump on a plane at the first whisper emerging from somebody’s mouth that someone else is not doing very well. I want to be able to put my arms around them that much sooner – and maybe not just because someone’s died either, maybe because we’re closer and can get together more often and maybe people will come visit us more often too.

There are other reasons too, including the fact that my career will need me to be more accessible, and closer to a major centre as more of my books start coming out.

It isn’t immediate, the move, but we’re taking steps in that direction. So change is afoot and what that means for me now is that every walk I go on in our backyard bird sanctuary is a chance to appreciate the beauty of this place and be grateful for it, while I’m here.

Share the experience with me – here’s a short video I took of the May bird chaos on the trail behind our house the first spring we were here (also you can hear me boss my husband when I spot puppy Mowat considering taking a runner across our neighbour’s bridge…)