This morning we drive into town early. My car needs a 110-point inspection at Crappy Tire. Across the way is Starbucks so I stroll him over under a blue, but cold sky, the morning's snowflakes melted away. We lay siege on one of the smaller, couchy-type chairs. What astounds me as I sit and sip and nurse simultaneously is the myriad of languages I hear. Two women speak Italian three tables over. At least, it's a Latin language that is not French. I assume Italian because of the beautiful hand gestures the women sign to accompany each point they are making as they converse with each other. They don sweats and lycra as though they have just both come from a workout, but still look sophisticated in that oh-so-European way. The gym, perhaps, wasn't enough since they pump their arms up and down and all around as they talk. They evoke a silent film and I feel like a voyeur as I can nearly guess their entire conversation through the movements of their eyes, mouths and hands. Listening to their lilt, I smile and dream about sipping this decaf latte with my babe at my boob in Florence instead; close my eyes to imagine it. Just behind me another couple chats away and I am suddenly thrown Northeast to Prague. As if on cue, cumulonimbus sweep in, blotting out the sun. No, it's not a Harry Potter broom. Cumulonimbus are the types of clouds which carry rain or snow within them. And for the second time this morning, it's snow falling. Not softly, though. It slants and hurtles toward the ground. A gaggle of teenagers from the nearby highschool rush in wearing winter coats over gym shorts and knee-high socks, giggling and squealing as they shake the weather from their goose-bumped limbs.
The woman has turned to fuss over my sonshine. He produces My Favourite Thing (his shy smile). Her name is Jindra, I learn. Pronounced Yin-drah. She spells it out for me. Her husband tries to out-shy my son. I smile. This is what I miss about Toronto when I lived there. All the varied cultures everywhere you'd go. I'm surprised to find a bit of a melting pot here in my old hometown, but happy to discover this area has been growing and stretching, morphing into a somewhat more global creature while I've been living rurally the last decade. I will be leaving the countryside in the spring. The thought makes me happy and sad simultaneously, but that's par for the course where I'm concerned. My body has difficulty differentiating between Joy and Sorrow sometimes. What is the phrase I came across last night? Oh, yes: Excess of Sorrow laughs. Excess of Joy weeps. William Blake. Boy, did he get that right. How many times have I felt the strong urge to quell a giggle at a funeral or weep buckets over something so beautiful, it hurt? I look at my son and ponder his own songs of innocence and experience. Sonshine, The Musical. For now, I have a front row seat and am thoroughly enjoying the show.
His Aunt swings by and, over another latte, we discuss what she's working on these days and my own future goals. As I nurse him, he falls asleep in a sunlit halo. Today I have decided to write more often. As often as I can. And add some photos, some colour, to the stories I'm sharing. I figure practice will make perfect. Someday. And I need all the practice I can get. With this wee bundle of mine filling the bulk of my arms and my days, I aim to write at least once a week, if not every day. It's a start. A tiny goal. A first step. I wonder when he will take his. Each day, I place him on his tummy and he strains to crawl. He has learned to turn himself over or move himself around in a circle. Forward motion he has yet to master (something I am only beginning to master myself since leaving my common-law marriage and the rut, the stasis of it). We learn to move forward together, my son and I.
The sun shines again as we leave my parents' place, a brief visit once the car is fixed. Clouds in the distance promise that we head home into yet another snowfall. The expanse of rural sky gives the added benefit of watching weather approach, sometimes tentatively. At other times, menacingly. Each time fascinates. Something I will miss. I throw another log in my woodstove to build the fire up and take a photograph of the front yard turning white at dusk. The tiny squares of the screen door produce the effect of a photo taken a century ago. In a farmhouse as old as this, it suits the mood perfectly. Pathetic fallacy. His little mouth turns toward my heart as we settle for the night with the ghosts in, what is now, a ghostlike landscape.
Music: Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell