Writing conversation: SOLITUDE IN LAWRENCE PARK

It is about 8.30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the second day following the summer solstice, and I am sitting on the back porch of my home in Lawrence Park in almost the centre of the huge metropolis of the city of Toronto.  It is a comfortable room temperature, and I am reading.

I look up and become aware that this is something of a magical moment.  Apart from an occasional bird song there is no noise.  This is a rare time of the week when there is no sound of lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hammers from never ending rebuilding of houses.  Not even an aircraft for the last fifteen minutes has shattered the silence, nor is there the underlying sound of ever present traffic, as my home is almost half a mile away from any kind of thoroughfare.  It will not last, of course, as the city comes to life.

Then there is the visual reward of my garden, well enclosed by a variety of trees and bushes.  A huge maple tree gloriously fills the sky in the right corner at the back.  It is MY tree, because as a wild sapling I allowed it to grow about forty years ago in case anything might happen in the future to another gorgeous maple in my neighbour’s yard.  A prescient decision, as that tree was lost two years ago.  They cannot be replaced overnight.  I become aware of fractals in nature, so apparent in so much of plant life.

Bees are flitting among the buds in my raspberry patch, while on the other side of the garden tomato plants seem to grow as I watch, alongside flourishing rhubarb.  Suddenly, not five feet away a brilliant red and black cardinal lands on a ledge of the porch, eyeing me for three or four seconds before continuing on his way toward a thick cedar hedge bordering the right side of the garden.  A variety of bright coloured annuals rim both my rock garden and circular rose bed.

It does not take long for my mind to wander to the imaginative wonder of nature, and to reflect on the incredible confluence of factors needed to make life on our planet possible.  Is it possible to ever fully appreciate the magnitude of the mystery?

Everett Fleming

June 23, 2013

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Oscar O. Price Says:

    Two years ago, perhaps more, a large willow tree was blown down in a wood. Some of the roots still hold, and although there is a large fracture half-way along the trunk there is life in the upper branches, which are now in leaf. The two portions of the tree lie at an angle, the point of fracture being the highest place. The lower portion of the trunk is decaying, and a considerable output of rotten wood, damp and resembling wood pulp, suggested that some bird had scratched a hole in which to nest. To my surprise I discovered that the excavators were rabbits, and that they reach the hole by running along the fallen upper portion of the trunk. I have found rabbit burrows in caves and have seen tunnels beneath buildings, but never before have seen tunnels boring into wood. Long ago we learnt that the over-abundant rabbits in Australia had taken to tree-climbing, but in this case the animals have become even more arboreal; they have burrowed into the tree.


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