I'm just back from a short excursion up to Grey County, and bursting with the amazingness of it. It began with a lovely drive, through bare bleached landscape, all its bones and contours showing, since no grass or leaves or shrubs or any new life has sprung up to camouflage or dress up the landscape.
One stretch of road was spectacular in a special trippy way. It was on Mulock Road, which is straight and spare, heading through bare fields and then forest, then fields again. As I drove north through the forest, the sun due west at this equinoctial time of year, the bare trunks of ash and maple cast perfect spare striped shadows straight across the road. Stripes thin, and thick, stripes in all dimensions, overlapping and alone, sharp-edged and pure, made a perfect living abstract work of art on the bare moist dirt road. Hallucinatory it was, in the best way, like a living abstract painting unscrolling before me as I drove through it, heading on north. And then it was over.
The next gorgeousness unfolded through the evening. First I sat out in sunshine with Lillian, magical spring sunshine, after six in the evening, on her wooden deck, sipping wine and eating her fresh muffins and some cheese I'd brought up from the city. We lit the sauna and later, under a midnight blue sky walked over to it through the trees, each of us wrapped only in a towel. We'd step out of the cedar-scented heat every once in awhile, each time finding the sky a blacker blue, with scintillating stars piercing the dome, stars bright enough that we could see them not only overhead but also through the forest. And again, it was the transparency of the trees with just their bone-structure and no leaves that made it extra-special.
The sauna allowed us to walk outside bare, our skin in the air, breathing in life and the optimism of spring.
The third gorgeousness was in the morning, in two parts. We walked over to the neighbours to see a newly arrived pair of swans. They floated at a distance, ethereal on the still-looking surface of the swollen river. And as we stared out at the bare trees and the shining surface of the water, a goose (noisy pairs of them, newly arrived from the south, nest by the river) flew over our heads, low and coming in for a landing. As the goose approached the surface of the river, its reflection came up to meet it, all white and grey and sharp, and then there was the brilliant silver slash as it planed onto the water. Art in motion.
Almost breathless with the loveliness of it all, we headed back to the house and had the first shoots of green onion and the first tender sorrel leaves from the garden, fresh-gathered by Lillian, as part of breakfast.
As I began the drive back toward the city I felt filled, over-full of wonder. Then, watch out!!! Reality check!! Two huge white-tailed deer were suddenly right there, running beside the car. In a panic one accelerated ahead and dashed across the road right in front of me. Yikes!!!
I braked sharply, pulled over to get my heart to stop racing, and watched the deer spring away across a sunlit marsh, full of life and freedom.