Every year in the spring I return to my home in Vancouver. The journey is always a discomfort, a disadvantage and an arduous pilgrimage. Ultimately I have to file my income taxes due at the end of April as a resident of this convoluted country. The travel days spent in transit are time in purgatory …after 911…terrorism has completely screwed the joy out of airports. We arrive hours before our flights for security… and suffer the inconvenience of missing connections.

Still, there are the simple pleasures of arriving , seeing old friends and family who’ve forgotten …smiling at the false civility of people who envy us for being elsewhere when they can’t …sleeping in my own familiar bed…..and taking naps on the couch in front of the fireplace, that sort of thing. Of course spring is a time for nature to burst out of the perpetual dark. The tremendous energy of plant life is quite incredible in northern climes as they rush to fulfill their destiny in the short months they have to proliferate. If you live in the tropics these transitional periods are unnoticeable. In Canada, the change from dark to light is like an explosion tinged with hurried desperation.

Five years ago I planted two matched male and female plum trees of my favorite variety in my rear garden. One died and had to be cut out, a fungus had been introduced at the nursery, and it’s mate became very ill. As you know plum needs to be cross pollinated in order to bear fruit. My lonely female was widowed before her first spring and would have lain barren without my innovative husbandry. Every spring I walk a few blocks up the street to another single plum and bring back blossoming cuttings to hang off the branches of my lonely widow in order for the itinerant bee’s to tangle nectar with the brilliant blossoms. I have become my plum tree’s surrogate lover…

When I return in the fall she displays her fecund purple bounty for me , like a wife presenting newborn children to her husband, making a return to Vancouver bearable.

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Once again we say good bye and begin another journey of missed seasons and wonder……

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Comments
  1. auntyuta says:

    It’s wonderful what you do with your plum tree. Wishing you a purple bounty when you return in the fall! Where are you off to this time?

    • We woke up in Texas this morning. We’ll be using Dallas as a home base to explore the American South this year…..or as long as it takes. As the regions largest hub we have access to several discount air carriers for cheap short hops throughout the region….in the process we collect massive numbers of hotel points to further our travel in a perpetual cycle of collect and go. As well as the very inexpensive cost of living here…..not to mention the gorgeous weather, red dirt music, festivals and super friendly/hospitable Texas people. There is a particular era of furniture I have come to love….the US Southern depression era….’30’s and early 40’s……quite unique. I plan on collecting as I pass through the many small historic towns we pass through. Thx for being interested.

      • auntyuta says:

        Collecting furniture from the 30’s and 40’s? My goodness, where are you going to store it? It sounds like an interesting life you and your wife are leading. You are a published writer. I would be interested to know what sort of writing schedules you have while moving about as much as you do.
        Wishing you both a great time again in the American South and thanks very much for your reply. Aunty Uta back in NSW, Australia, after having spent a few days in Victoria, Australia.

      • Hi Aunty… I write every day…it is a passion and I can’t think of doing anything else. Trisha and I always ‘home base’ in a region and road trip shorter distances…. then ‘come home’. The old days of back packing in and out of hotels rooms between bus trips and airports are behind us. We’ll take an apartment…..live quite normally with all our comfortable amenities. I find it better and healthier this way staying longer in one place gives me a better insight into local culture and mythology…..never mind less stress and we eat better cooking for ourselves than in restaurants. Asia and Europe and great for this kind of traveling…..with the airline consolidation in the US it’s cheap and easy to fly short hops for little money and see a lot. We spent six months in a small village on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane one year just walking the beaches to shop and play, fantastic. We’ve become very adept at shipping after all these years on the road.

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