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.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How spring comes

Saturday was windy but filled with sun.  It was warm enough that I sat outside next to the house, sheltered from the wind, and read a book Greg had ordered from the library, Bill Gaston's The Order of Good Cheer (Anansi, 2008). I hope this book doesn't end, though I see that the library expects to get it back on March 24th. While I read I watched a single lobster boat in the harbour just beyond the point, toing and froing over its traps.  

In the mid-Atlantic, where we lived until now, spring came all in a day or two with a huge tada! There was no question about it. In DC I looked for that one moment when the trees put out their new leaves, so that all at once the city (which is filled with deciduous trees) was wreathed in the palest, faintest green. 

Here the trees are mostly spruce, and keep their colour.  Instead of any obvious signs, it is the light that changes everything. On Saturday the sun poured over the island and turned it gold. The moss that covers the lower orchard was bronze and cream, and the rockweed and the irish moss waved goldenly in the cove water, and the ends of the logs in the woodpile were round and flat and yellow. 

The boulders that are not grey by nature were golden, with flecks of gold, and old grey rocks wore chartreuse moss. The dried grasses along the shore and in the old fields were pale gold. Lichen on stumps and rocks were dark amber, the colour of maple syrup in sunlight. The tide pools and the mud puddles were mirrors of yellow light held up for the sky to see.   Everything either absorbed the sun and became luminous, or reflected it, like the harbour did at the end of the day when the wind died down and sunset brought the whole thing to a close. 

Soon more particular signs will show up.  The first snake will unfurl along a rock, streams will slither and clatter down into the cove, tiny fern shoots will emerge next to the lower road.  For now, though, spring is not yet anything in particular. It's just the light, everywhere.  

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