Friday, 24 March 2017

End of Snow Magic


This has been the snowiest winter that I can recall in all my years on BC’s Lower Mainland.  As much as it has been somewhat inconvenient, there is no denying that it has been beautiful.  I have such incredible memories of snow and my childhood winters, back in Ontario.  In the dead of winter – snowsuit weather – the days were already growing dark, by the time school was let out at four o'clock.  I would walk home with friends, in the deepening twilight, and when I got to my house I would throw myself backwards into the snow and make a snow angel.  Then, I would lie there, looking up at that magnificent northern Ontario winter sky.  To this day, I have never seen a sky that comes close.  It is almost impossible to describe:  the deepest blue – almost neon blue – viewed through sparkle snow dust and vapors from my breath … adorned with lovely wisps of cirrus clouds that gave way to a luminous moon and twinkling stars.  Looking up into that sky … is one of the most epically beautiful, visual experiences of my life.  I was no more than ten – a child.  Perhaps that is the enchantment that gifted those precious moments.

~ down to earth:  too soon … and too late wise ~

it’s been long years, since i have lain in snow …
but, i recall the spell of sapphire skies 
– cradled in white peace and wonder-full –
arms swished to angel wings, with which i’d fly, 
in mists of frosted wind and breathy sigh

it’s been long years, since i have lain in snow … 
though ‘once upon’  i travelled astral trails 
– in magic glittered gusts bathed in moon glow – 
passed twinkling stars and soft cloud wisps of sails, 
to pillow feather lands of fairy tales

it’s been long years, since i have lain in snow … 
agog and awed … enchanted by those skies 
–  but worlds must spin and children grow – and so
there came the day, I shut my ‘childeyes’ – 
~ down to earth:  too soon … and too late wise ~

“So come with me, where dreams are born
and time is never planned.  Just think of happy things,
and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”
― J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan, play 1904; novel 1911.

note:  A little English Quintrain –  to issue out the last of this season’s beautiful snowy days

photo:  Sun Peaks. British Columbia – H. Bourke
© 2017 Wendy Bourke

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


I have a theory about promises ... or perhaps, I'm simply superstitious about them.  Late afternoon is a bad time for a promise … Not as bad as night, of course.  (Sensible people, of a certain age, almost never make promises in the dark of night.)  But, late afternoon, is not an optimum promising time, either.  It is not, nearly, as good a time, for example, as early morning.  Early morning when the stuff of life has not yet, had the chance to clutter-up, re-schedule, frustrate, gloss over or intoxicate a rested mind … is the odds-on-best promising time … Or so I’ve always believed. 

People seldom make promises to me, anymore.  When you are young, promises are a dime-a-dozen.  Sometimes they are kept … Sometimes they are forgotten … and … Sometimes, they are broken.
When you are young – promises come from parents in exasperated hisses.  They come from educators – spat from mouths that look like they’ve just eaten a bad clam.  (Those promises are, usually, proceeded by “or-else’s”.)  Occasionally – when you are young – promises drift to your ear in whispers between embraces … gossamer promises … the lightest promises of them all … breathy declarations that morph, subtly, into the lilt of a question … in the space of a few short words … as youthful promises are prone to do.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By late afternoon, what little sun a West Coast February day has to offer up, had packed it in replaced by a lovely, woods-of-camelot haze.  A few fat drops of rain had fallen in widely spaced intervals … so that, I couldn’t be sure if it would cease, altogether, or quicken to a deluge. 

We had walked for ages and a rain speckled wooden bench, with wrought iron arms, beckoned.  It was risky business, but we sat down, gingerly, and waited to see if dampness lurked below the surface, ready to rise-up.  It did not – though it sent a cold shiver, in its place.   The droplets that had gathered on the iron arms appeared as smooth, ebony beads.  I stared at them as, slowly one by one   they slid together … growing in size spellbindingly until at last, a great black blob perched, precariously, on the iron arm edge ... and then ... it slithered over the side and splashed to the ground.

My voice shattered the misty idyll:

"So what did the doctor say?" …………. "Nothing" …………. "The doctor said nothing???" …………. "Nothing" …………. "Well, surely, the doctor said something" …………."Well, ya-know, he said, I'm fine – it’s all good" …………. "It’s good?" …………. "I’m good – perfect."

"I promise", he added with a cheerful snicker "everything's perfect ."  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
raindrops falling
in the mist . . .
where time meets the unexpected
the certainty of change
splashes upon every promise 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was late afternoon and the sky was already beginning to darken.

"I promise" he said "everything is perfect."   

note:  a - mostly - fictional tanka prose piece. 

photo:  Nicomeki River, Surrey, BC – W. Bourke 

© 2017 Wendy Bourke