Thursday, June 9, 2011

Older story revisited (March issue of LeTour)

Ready or Not, Spring is Just Around the Corner
The ice is melting on some of our ponds, the sun is becoming stronger and we feel it in our bones that we've made it through another winter here in the Townships. For many years I hated this time of transition because it meant the end of skiing and the glorious drives through glittering landscapes which had brought me to the Townships in the first place. At 63 years of age however, the warm rays of the tentative spring sun are now much appreciated.
A few days ago I had the chance to walk a sugarbush with a friend. Docile maples have long been tapped and every sugar producer is eagerly awaiting the sap to start flowing. For now it is just the beauty and silence of the bush, the sap buckets throwing long shadows onto the snow and the early morning sun reflecting off the long icicles that grace the sugar house roof.
As we watched six does crossing the meadow between my friend's house and the woods behind I thought, “If I owned an IPod, the piece to play right then would have been "The Lark Ascending" by Vaughan Williams”. From my friend's place I can see Pinnacle Mountain in the distance, still snow-capped but this morning endowed with a halo of cloud tinted pink by the rising sun.
As I hiked up Courser Brook Road in Glen Sutton yesterday, I turned to see the valley below like an inland sea with distant dark peaks sticking out of the morning fog. I half expected to see the "Flying Dutchman's" three-masted barquen-tine coasting through the valley, possibly right over the top of the Auberge Glen Sutton. On the other hand, there were three brightly outlined contrails of aeroplanes full of people bound for Europe and places beyond criss-crossing the sky, and me, just a tiny dot on a mountain road descending back into the mist.
My first two seed catalogues have arrived and we've just begun the annual ritual of doling out "my space" and "her space" in our garden. This year I shall opt for a new strain of celeriac and sharp white German beer radishes while Nancy once again will try for the best tomatillas and her never ending quest to grow good Loofa sponges. Of course, I can always be certain that our fine crop of dandelions will stand proud in about three weeks time.
Next, the bicycles will come out of the garage for their annual spring cleaning and tuning. But the nicest sign is that my 17 year old cat "Filmore" is curled up on the front steps, contentedly soaking up the good clean air and the first warmth of spring sun on her back while the three younger cats play in the driveway again.
Let's all enjoy it and remember, November is a whole nine months away!
Manfried Helmuth Starhemberg

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