Sunday, 20 May 2012

Summer already on Victoria Day weekend

Well it is so hot here I am waiting until evening to plant the morning glories. It was too hot to eat lunch on the deck even under the umbrella. I am anticipating a very hot dry summer!

Amazingly, the pumpkins are up already:

There is one at about 1:00 off the end of my left foot. I took this photo a couple of days ago, and by noon today, there were second leaves sprouting, not to mention even more pumpkin seedlings. I am certain they are pumpkins, as they are all the same and in a row. This year, I am going to try to train them to grow over onto the grass to the right, so that I can grow more veggies in the rest of that garden. Herding pumpkins will be a new experience for me.

I need more garden space because, as usual, I went overboard buying seeds. I won a gift certificate to McFayden's Seeds in Manitoba, and my order came on Friday. Herbs, heirloom tomatoes,  nasturtiums, marigolds, beans, morning glories and much much more.The thing is there are fewer seeds per packet than I remember from 25 years ago when I ordered from Stokes. Hmmm ...

But then, there are always garden surprises. Tucked under these strawberries is a chestnut seedling:

A squirrel had to come quite far with the seed - one long block away is the closest chestnut tree. My other two chestnut seedlings, in the compost heap, disappeared mysteriously over the winter.  I think I'll take this one down to PEI for our garden there - eventually.

Thankfully I didn't accidentally weed the phlox while I was planting the pansies and the Engish daisy (to the left) and the rock cress (to the right): 

One year, I enthusiastically pulled up many incipient thistles only to realize too late that I had weeded all the poppies I had planted the year before. Good labelling goes a long way to preventing such gardening disasters.

Speaking of strawberries, I have already eaten five. I had planned to share with my significant other, but somehow, once plucked,  the berries just veered irretrievably into my mouth. They are about a month early this year.

I feel a yen for lemonade so I will close now, brave the heat of the deck and resume reading Eric Metaxis' biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer - seems appropriate for a Sunday afternoon.

Cheers ~

Monday, 14 May 2012

Smokey Tom and the Virgin Mary

The trouble with not blogging regularly is that so many things happen it is hard to decide what to write about. Not only that, but the details get fuzzy.
So here is start on some things that have been going on:

Last Saturday morning, I attended a service at St. Thomas’s Church in Toronto to honour the Virgin Mary.   Her month is the merry month of May apparently.  In a brief homily, Fr. Jonathan Eayrs described how May, not April,  is really springtime here in southern Ontario (although today felt more like summer – more on that later).  

Creation rises anew. Mary provides (a symbol of) the connection between the divine and the material world.  Unfortunately, I forget what else he said, but it related to these lines of this hymn addressing Mary:

One in joyful songs of praise,
Let us pass from mournful days
To the Paschal mystery:
God arose who lived in thee!
Virgo Maria

Mother, let thy risen King
Rise in us a living spring
Virgo Maria
(French mediaeval melody harmonized by R. V. Williams)

I like  the pun on spring and the line, "God arose who lived in thee." Creation is not fallen by its very nature but, alas, only becomes so by what we do to it.

Also on a further tangent, I like to think that every baby is an incarnation of divine purpose, not only Jesus.  And I admire both Mary and Joseph’s courage in rejecting social pressure to feel guilty (the former) or to punish (the latter). 

But what I enjoyed most about this service was the procession to the Lady Chapel (Smokey Tom’s is Anglo-Catholic and considered nosebleed high by most other Anglicans around here). Why a  ladder was leaning against the wall beside a statue of the Virgin Mary puzzled me until it became apparent that a small boy, dressed in a red cassock and white surplice, was going to climb it to put a wreathe of flowers on the Virgin’s head:

 He made his way ever higher up the ladder but kept treading on his vestments and stopping to get unstuck. Finally she was crowned. It was delightful. That’s the way I like my liturgy.

And that was Saturday morning.