Sunday, October 11, 2009
There is frost on the lawn this morning. The roofs of the neighbouring homes have each donned a slip of white lace. The bright morning sunshine reveals a thick layer of summer grime on my windows – darn, I hate washing windows!
Fall has arrived. For the first time this year, for the first time in this house, I turn on the heat. Only for an hour or so, until I am showered and dressed and ready to move around, but I turn it on nonetheless. I like my house cool, but there is a point at which even my bones feel chilled.
On Friday, Else and I drove north about an hour to do a homecheck for a rescued dog. We noted then how much brighter, more red, more yellow, more colourful the leaves were just that short drive away. Yet this morning, the trees here are equally as brilliant, a palette of Tuscan colours to inoculate the soul against the dark, drab days of the coming winter.
Ironically, with my morning coffee I am reading ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Frances Mayes, and the colours outside my window blend with the descriptions in the book. The beautiful tiled bistro table and pastoral artwork I bought last spring, also reminiscent of Tuscany, help complete the transformation. Crofton becomes Tuscany.
Today, many will celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving, though in actuality our Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It is the Thanksgiving of storybooks, replete with harvest and falling leaves, wisps of smoke from woodburning fireplaces and the last of the apples ripening on the trees, the clear blue sky and brilliant sun mocking the crisp cold air. My neighbour is baking pies – the tantalizing smell drifts into my yard.
I am thankful for so many things – for family and friends, for good food and a warm (or cool!) house. I am thankful for nature’s palette, so many colours to paint my world, and I am thankful for nature’s music – the ocean waves, the birds singing, the distant but constant barking of the sea lions on the reef just beyond the bay.
And, of course, I am thankful for my critters – for Allie, who drapes herself across my forearms as I attempt to put my thoughts to keyboard; for Charley, who scratched away at the bathroom door this morning to tell me “Mommmmm, Belle is barking again!”; for Belle, who demands I be in whichever room SHE wants to be in, and whose insistent every-ten-second-single-bark-until-she-gets-her-way drives me and all the other critters a wee bit crazy; for Sadie, who used to live in a car and now hogs my bed and my couch and my lap at every opportunity; and for Oliver, love of my life, whose ever so gentle and quiet demeanor housed in a physically and mentally challenged coat of soft sable and apricot fur tugs at the heartstrings and whose morning happy dance never fails to start my day with a laugh.
It is a good life. It is a beautiful world. That is not to negate the sorrow of homeless people or homeless animals, it is not to negate the lack of humanity exhibited in everything from global politics to child and pet care, it is not to negate the struggles of the poor or the frustrations of those with disabilities. It is simply to recognize that all this sorrow, all this inhumanity, all these struggles and frustrations, take place within a world of potential, within a world of beauty. And for that I am very thankful.