Sunday, July 3, 2011


A quick note on a soft summer evening... I'm just back in the city from a visit north to Grey County. All is green and growing there after the wet spring we've had, and pretty late too. The lettuce greens, the mizuna, the garlic scapes are all fresh and lush still.

Last night, after a sauna and swim in a swift cool river, we had food cooked over a fire (local sausage, scapes, chiles...) and several fresh green salads, and then we hung out eating mangoes and tasting Fifthtown Cheese, a hard aged cheese that was fabulous. But then the sky shifted from clear evening to a bank of grey and threatening clouds to the south. We worried about rain, but In the end the storm, and it was a deluge, stayed away from us. We heard the thunder and saw lightning, but the dense grey shafts that told us about pouring rain were safely south of us. Overhead the sky was a strange pale colour that gave off an eerie greenish-yellow light, but created no shadows. It made everything oddly flat, as if we were all figures standing in front of a painted backdrop. Nothing had any depth. It was disorienting and a little unsettling too. And meanwhile the backdrop to our strange light was the dramatic dark sky to the south.

Later still, after night had fallen, we walked down the hill and watched the fireflies, in a damp little valley, hundreds of them, thousands? It was hard to think of them as insects. They became magic points of light, fairies perhaps, or signals to extra-terrestrials. If a firefly is still, then its moment of brightness looks like a "dot". But if it's flying at speed while it's bright, then it looks like a momentary "dash" in the blackness. And so the dots and dashes flickered their messages to us in the magical dark. Far away to the northwest the sky had a last suggestion of brightness, the day's final adieu.

Early July magic.

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