The Onset of Spring

Winters in Vancouver don’t have much snow or very cold temperatures unless you get at some elevation. What we do have are endless days of rain, wind, and–occasionally–the near freezing clear night with many stars, which sleeps soundlessly until a layer of frost brings on the next morning. Our rainy season feels moody, and I just want to get away. The nice thing is that usually in February the cherry blossoms open first, and what follows are the colorful arrays of greens, purples, reds, pinks, yellows, and whites from all the other plants. It is almost that time of year, though the cherries aren’t out quite yet. This week, however, we’ve had three (count three!) days of warmish sunshiney weather. For me it means running in shorts, finalizing garden plans, and smiling a whole lot more.

Last night, after a very busy day at work, where I did find an hour for running, I had a nice phone conversation with my daughter, who lives in southern California. I was kind of sore at the time because this time around in my training I’m not walking at all and ran up the Canada Way hill, which is a long gradual and good ascent. By the time I got home it felt good to have a seat and toast a beer with my daughter as we talked about our harried work weeks. We skyped with video on, and I could see that she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and was cleaning up a space she was making for herself to be outside. She, like me, is happiest out in nature (she just got back from a weekend desert camping trip and is ready to go on a hike with her cousin). She was on her back balcony planning a hammock/reading area; likewise I am also looking forward to our back deck to be dry enough that I can rid it of the wet leaves. We have a new picnic table out there, which we added after last summer was over. So it’s time to have some friends over for outdoor stuff. I dream of relaxing under the cedars and elms, with a good book or a few friends and some wine.

Speaking of renewing times, another thing that has gotten me feeling hopeful is a new genre called solarpunk. It’s not just a literary genre, it is an artistic one, a scientific one, an architectural one, an engineering one. Solarpunk is about looking at the world through a different lens, a lens that empowers us to imagine a world that we can continue to live in. One that is sustainable and run by renewable energy. One that is also sustainable for everyone, not just the 1%. I’ve been one of the panelists at SFF World on the subject. I’m really new to it, and look up to others who have been more immersed in this movement. I’ve talked about it before and will again, I’m sure.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I think it doesn’t start raining again until Sunday and tomorrow I do my 50-minute run (then just two more weeks in the 10K training). I am just going to Mundy Park and will probably run around there for half an hour and run home. After that I want to clean off the deck, mow the back yard, and help re-seed the front yard with our Kentucky Bluegrass. I need to start my herbs and get the cedar planters set up in the back for growing my other plants this spring.

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