In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Honeysuckle and snow

Last summer I had seen a honeysuckle flourishing over the ruins of the island's old hotel. Yes, curiously, McNutt's had a hotel in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A trumpet honeysuckle vine twisted over the remaining pile of lath, shingle and boards, its red and yellow flowers like little jewels amid the rubble. When I looked it up I learned that it was a native honeysuckle, not the fragrant Japanese variety, and that it was beloved by bees and hummingbirds. We had two hummingbirds last summer, and they made me lust after more.

In the fall I put a few vines into a mason jar with water, and -- as an experiment -- put a few directly into the ground, leaning against the picket fence. I watched the vines in the mason jar as the leaves gradually withered and turned brown. For several weeks nothing seemed to be happening. I nearly lost patience and threw them out but Greg stayed my hand. Then, around Christmas, I saw some root growth. Then I saw tiny green leaves. When I checked outside at the picket fence, I saw that the honeysuckle vines had put forth tiny dark red nodes.

Some might say, Oh, so what? A honeysuckle, for heaven's sake. How could it not grow? But then they'd be missing just how amazing it is to see tiny green leaves on the first day of a new year, all this furled-up promise.