Friday, May 16, 2014

Nothing to see here

There is a kerfuffle in the bathroom. The muted gong of the cast iron tub, the click of tiny claws against wood and the porcelain tub coating. I think I can hear static crackle off the ends of fine hairs. There is the sound of scampering feet spinning in a circle and the squeak of the wooden lid against the wooden box that sits beside the tub.

I tiptoe towards the door, peek around the corner to see a white paw dart over the lip of the tub and swipe at Cleo, who sprawls lazily on the box, her favourite spot by the large window looking out to the garden where birds can be watched and rabbits regarded.

Cleo reaches out her own white paw, cocking her head, and swipes back. Fine fibres of hair are released into the sunbeam that angles across the tub, hang there for a moment and then float effortlessly away, disappearing in the shadows.

I attempt to move silently, to get my camera and return. But they are on to me. The sounds stop, and when I return to the doorway I am greeted by two pairs of wide accusing eyes. I have interrupted or disturbed or discovered something I wasn’t supposed to know.

The fun is over. Chestnut leaps casually from the tub as though he was bored with this game anyway, and Cleo takes one last swipe before settling in for the afternoon on top of the wooden box, turning her head away, eyes half-closed, denying everything.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Winter spring

I awoke to snow drifting lazily and steadily past the window. Outside, beyond white, still winter-skeletal poplar and birch branches, the sky matched the colour of the snow almost exactly and for a moment as I first opened my eyes to see this white on white on white world, I thought perhaps I was dreaming.

But somehow this May snowfall seemed perfectly normal, perfectly timed, as though a farewell of sorts to this winter that has stretched it’s cold, pointing fingers into spring.

The snowflakes, fat and gentle and full of whimsy, rested easily on branches, gathering in little clusters, coating the evergreens once again in white, and because the snow has been receding and there have been days that seemed very much like spring, days with strong sunshine and the sound of burbling waters and the smell of wet earth and fresh buds and melting snow, it all seemed very dreamlike, even as I stumbled down the stairs to the kitchen.

It is not unexpected, this snow that falls throughout the morning, at one point sounding like rain on the roof, it is the way spring has gone. Snow falls one day to cover a field in white to melt again the next day to be covered once again the day after that.

So we revel in it. We laugh to see the snowflakes falling again, and beneath a hot sun on another day we are amazed to see the ground as though we thought we never would, the dried leaves from last season, emerging flattened and damp, the water running freely along our driveway, across the stones of our path, and right there beside this new, busy river, a snowbank still feet deep.