Sunday, 3 February 2013

Happy Sights and a Puzzle

Stopped at a red light, I watched a troop of school children, bundled in parkas, cross the street, hunched against the blowing snow, each one carrying a pair of skates. Classic Canadiana made me smile.

On another winter day while driving north I noticed a scene worth painting. In the distance stood a grove of leafless saplings backed by a darkening grey sky. In the foreground, the low winter sun behind me was spotlighting one small oak tree, its raggedy bronze leaves bravely waving. Beautiful.

At a stop sign I waited for a woman to cross on a windy day and had to laugh out loud. She had no idea that her thickly wrapped ponytail was being blown from behind up into a curve over her head so that she looked like a unicorn in the gusty gale. 

On my way to the car after shopping, I was scanning the sky over the grocery store parking lot. Where two power lines were strung, one just above the other, two rows of birds huddled together, crowded so tightly that the lower tier seemed to be ducking their heads. They looked like football fans in a sold-out stadium. Made me grin.

Meeting my brother for lunch at an unfamiliar mall I enter the nearest door and found myself in one of those clothing stores designed for teenage girls without much money. I had to walk right through to get to the mall hallway and it felt like I was in a spring garden. Displayed on the walls were peach-coloured shirts overlaid with jewelled netting and lime green leggings splashed with red roses. Racks held orange jeans, lavender skirts and turquoise underwear embroidered with daisies. Shelves offered sparkling silver lame running shoes and bright yellow purses. As long as I didn’t think of sweatshops and landfills, it was surprisingly pretty.

One chilly day I walked past a tiny toddler padded from top to bottom in a blue plaid snowsuit shuffling her way across the daycare playground, to join her friends lining up at the door. She looked like a baby robot. Just darling.

Early on a cold February Sunday, the sun was up, the air still, the neighbourhood quiet. I heard sparrows and a cardinal singing gaily and wondered, how do birds’ scrawny little feet not freeze solid and drop off overnight? Call it Nature or call it Creation, it’s a miracle to me.