“ It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” – Frederick Douglass
A rumble reverberating through the air woke me from a light slumber, the apartment awash in a fiery peach glow – as spring deepens into summer, the light creeps in earlier through the windows and I knew it was 6 am. Behind my closed eyes as I tried to fall back into dreamless sleep, bright white gold flashes signaled the presence of lightning now hovering against the cloud soaked mountains, the peach coloured sunrise smothered by the fast moving storm.
I eventually leapt out of bed to have a peek through the ivory slats of our blinds, drawn to this rare natural firework show so early in the morning, the large forked lightning painting the sky before crackling thunder tore the delicate tracery apart. Seagulls and dark crows could be seen flying rapidly through the tropical downpour, their cries mixing with the rolling crescendo as the newly risen lemon sun settled among the grey clouds. Only days ago it felt like summer was just around this moody corner!
In fact, there is nothing like walking by the roar of the ocean on a sunny spring afternoon with the scent of salt and cherry blossoms in the air. Walking the seawall underneath this rare sun I found myself taking in the sight of dazzling yellow dandelions and tiny white daisies carpeting lush green grass. A cool breeze from the west northwest reminds one that winter has only recently left his realm leaving spring to hurriedly decorate her new domain – I can see her delicate touch in the exuberant leafing of the still bare trees, in the fragile filigree of the chestnut flowers daubed in hues of dark rose and pale cream as well as in the luxurious blooming of the many newly emerging rhododendrons, camellias and azalea bushes all around.
My nose finds itself tickled by the aroma of all the sylvan and woody spaces, summer’s subtle invitation just out of reach…there are tulips in all their colourful glory and every so often the scent of hyacinths wafts through the air, on days like these it’s easy to change a frown into a smile or leap from one’s cozy bed to greet the day.
It is moments like these that colour my world as I put to rest a busy May – a May that found me picking up some temporary paid work, enjoying a visit with family out from Ontario, celebrating my birthday and still keeping a daily close watch on my father. I did not realize a storm was brewing for my Mom and shortly after my birthday received a shocking phone call from an up country hospital (where Mom was on a short holiday in Merritt, B.C.) informing me she was undergoing emergency surgery for a significant fracture of her right femur after a freak car accident. After a whirlwind week or so, she is back in her own apartment and is slowly making her way…in the midst of life knocking on my door, I took some time to go on a park walk, to sit down on a wooden bench and just breathe. With the light spring wind raining thousands of chestnut flower heads and seeds from other trees (a first for me!) upon my head, these first summer-like days made our long winter seem like a dream, may my mother’s recovery do the same for her.