March 6, 2015

Making Time for Signs of Spring

"You find time the same place you find spare change: in the nooks and crannies." Austin Kleon

Since I landed a job in early February at a local cafe my life has become more full and I must make the most of the days I do not work, to make time for the things I enjoy, like walking and running, writing and reading, hanging out with my family, and volunteering. My weeks are framed and more structured now and I find I am enjoying life more. This winter has been a time of growth for me personally in many ways, some of them difficult, and I am happy that spring is just around the corner ready to welcome me with its floral fragrances, warm sunshine and birdsong.

We on the fondly named 'wet coast' were neither very wet, nor very stormy this winter. Our winter has been the complete opposite of the Eastern parts of the country which all but disappeared under umpteen layers of snowdrifts. The blooming began here in mid-February (when Halifax was being buried by yet another storm) and if I turn my head away from the computer screen to look out the living room window into the front yard I see a star magnolia nearly in full white bloom, baby narcissus, and swelling buds on the rhododendron bushes. The snowdrops are all but finished blooming, the daffodils are out in sunny spots and the tulip leaves are six inches above the ground. When I go for a walk I am generally hatless and glove-free these days, and a light jacket over a sweater is plenty warm enough for morning and too warm for the afternoon. When we watch the weather report on the news we cringe with guilt at what Eastern Canadians are enduring, but I think we also get the sense that many of our fellow countrypeople are making the most of this hard winter and will come out swinging while we sort of sashay sideways out of our easy winter into our early spring with self deprecating, embarrassed jokes about not being Real Canadians. Not that we have not had our turns other years. A couple of years ago we endured a two week snow and wind storm so severe it was broadcast on the news across the country - although I am sure many Easterners said 'it is about time they had some real winter over there.' We would have welcomed some real winter in the mountains this year. The ski season was a complete bust in the North Shore mountains of Vancouver, at our local ski hill and some others around the province. These mild winters have their downside. And, what's that about something not being over until the fat lady sings? March came in like a lamb and it still could go out like a lion. We have to enjoy it while we have got it.

I had not taken my camera out for a while and on Monday morning I decided to take it along to my appointment at the chiropractor. I planned to photograph signs of early spring on my walk home. I found many signs I was looking for except one. I had hoped to find a Tim Horton's 'Roll up the Rim to Win' cup discarded on the ground - a sure sign spring is coming. And what do you know? Not a single cup did I see on my walk. Quite shocking, really. Most days those things are all over the place, especially now we have a Timmie's right across the bridge.

A daffodil outside the chiropractic office

Lovely Japonica


Heather in full bloom

No idea what this plant is in front of the museum

Streetlights bathed in blossom

Akebono Cherry tree in the town park looks wonderful even without leaves

Time to think about getting the kids outside!

Magnolias hang heavy on young branches

Forsythia is a favourite against a blue sky

A neighbour down the street provides for the fairies

Another sign of new beginnings for someone

Ornamental cherry or plum on our street

Baby narcissus and the last of the snowdrops in our yard

Our star magnolia

Honestly, I do not mean to gloat. Look what the rest of you have to look forward to?

Cheers, and happy weekend,