Such a busy, up-side-down week is now behind me and it is now time to regroup and move forward again. I am not sure which way is up today, but I will write for a while and try to find it.
It is oh so nice to be treated to a quiet rainy morning at home after all the busy ones we had last week. Two return trips to Montreal were a bit harrowing for these small town drivers let me tell you, but AC did a fine job navigating the highways and byways and got us there and back, and there and back again, safely. Whew!
We had many maps and written directions, but the pace of the drivers, the congestion on the roads and the lack of English road signs, gave us conniptions and caused us to get lost at one point. We shared a few anxious moments when we discovered we were heading north instead of east, on a rather confusing section of highway, but we soon corrected our error and got on the right road, going in the right direction again. I didn't like driving in downtown Montreal AT ALL! Nope, not one little bit, not during rush hour on Wednesday or early morning traffic on Saturday. Both were harrowing!
The highway between Ottawa and Montreal is a treat to drive on though, so we were able to relax and enjoy the ride on this stretch of road. Thank goodness. We had sunshine for our first trip to the big city on Wednesday, but the misty early morning trip on Saturday was by far the most spectacular. As we drove along, we moved from misty cloud to sunshine and back to misty cloud again in the blink of an eye. The trees would be bursting with colour one minute and wrapped in fog the next. The contrast made each phase vivid and etched in remarkable beauty. Oh such a feast for our senses.
AC and I travelled most of the way in silence as we were both in contemplative moods. Funerals tend to do that don't they? Each new one brings back the memories of all the others we have attended in our lives. I pondered life and death and relived the pain of the death of my father, as we went to comfort The Boy in the death of his dad. I thought about the joy of our expected grandchild and the sorrow of the loss of this grandfather. In and out of the sunshine and shadows we drove and in and out of joy and sorrow my spirit went.
At several points along the road I noticed flocks of birds performing aerial ballet routines and I was reminded of this Mary Oliver poem. I hunted it up this morning and it spoke to so many feelings that have been whirling around me this past week. Let me share the poem with you and wish you a day to live as though you had wings.
Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theatre of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city,
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.