Each morning both colour and form return to the rooms I write in, despite the rain, the snow and the cloud cover. Leaves of my fig plant appear like green-stained glass in the window, my cello a rich chestnut brown. In all weathers, the sun rises and days begin. For me, each reliable day this week has begun with less paper and continued with less screen time, which I find enormously satisfying.
Just seventy more stores to go to… says the man to his 3-year-old son who rides past aisle 57 in the Canadian Tire shopping cart. His wife smiles as I laugh aloud.
The security guard stands, planted and watchful in the midst of the extremely crowded LCBO. I ask him if we are permitted to speak with him, or is he like a palace guard in London, stoic and straight-faced. I’m just here to keep the peace, he tells me, then smiles when I say, but it is peaceful, surely?. Then he helps me find a price for something, while somehow managing to stay planted and watchful.
what are tea candles? asks the middle-aged male clerk whose department the tea candles are not in.
The man in front of me at checkout, glazed/anxious/delighted as he pays for plastic dolls and big boxes of wish-list toys – I want to ask him if he has enough wrapping paper; its for sale over there in that bin. Instead I imagine the tree under which those big boxes will go, just like in the commercials. But he is warm in his delight. There’s an undeniable honesty about it that pauses me.
I scuttle home through the sloppy wet-snow streets, unaware that I am infected by pre-Christmas over-crowding, by the glowering parked beside me husband smoking in his truck while the wife shops, by the things I’m sure I’ve forgotten…
How can the lists of work and seasonal tasks be growing, even when methodically attended to? This while the Schedule gets narrower and narrower: Windsor; Hamilton; Owen Sound; Toronto… Come From Away? write, wrap, frame, practice, clear, clean….
I scuttle home, hurried and distracted for no good reason and there’s my tree, glowing and adorned with memories that span 53 years or more. Ah, yes. This is why.
And there’s the sun, through the now parted white clouds, through the window, warming my warm red carpet.
Somebody posts: Scientists report that glitter is bad for the environment and my laptop closes.
I make tea and pick up a book to read.