Here it is, spring again! Squirrels are single-mindedly chasing each other up and down the trees, geese are honking overhead, and those of us with un-paved driveways are parking at the end of the lane. Nothing too different from any other year. Except that instead of striding along a walking path in Germany, or cheering at the Canada vs. Finland hockey game in Halifax, we are keeping our own council here at home.
This afternoon some of us Women’s Institute members were planning to visit Blooming House (the overnight shelter for women in Charlottetown), but freezing rain intervened and the trip was called off. Don’t you love it when things are cancelled? Suddenly you are given free time to do… whatever. In our case we put on snowshoes and headed down to the Cove.
We followed the shore, never venturing too far out because there are springs under these capes and the ice can’t be trusted. At the brook we turned, and as we headed towards the highway I noticed some cattails in the marsh. I remembered my neighbor telling me about her childhood (the 1930’s) when they’d dip cattails in kerosene to make torches for skating at night. “Let’s take some cattails home and make torches,” I blithely suggested. The cattails had other ideas: there is nothing tougher than the stem of an old cattail! We managed to break one loose, sinew by sinew, but one is all we got.
Cattail in hand, we crossed the highway and started up the unplowed back road. Winter is a wonderful time for observing the structure of trees, and there along the fence line was a tree I’d never noticed. A crooked and very resilient spruce tree, obviously a tree with a story. What event changed its shape so dramatically? A storm? Another tree falling on it? Something nibbling on its growing tip? We’ll never know.
But it got me thinking about our present situation and how, with Covid-19 on the loose, every one of us will become slightly crooked and changed. Hopefully we can be as resilient as this unsung spruce tree living out its life on an Island back road.
Now I want to say a few words about something else. My friends Peter and Nancy Richards, the masterminds behind The Buzz, are retiring from active duty. What would we do without The Buzz? We love it unequivocally! It’s one of the Island’s secret treasures, and has been a special gift to those of us who have been privileged to write for it. Thank you, Peter and Nancy, for your generosity, encouragement and vision.
So a new chapter of The Buzz begins.