This is the historic Laura Secord Homestead in the quaint little village of Queenston Heights Ontario. The building hasn't changed much since 1813 when she made her perilous 19 mile journey through the wilderness to warm Lieutenant FitzGibbons about an impending attack by American forces. She was aided by Iroquois warriors who encountered her and escorted her to the British army. Today it is a quiet place of contemplation. The Battle of Beaver Dams was victorious for the British and Canadian forces, thanks to her heroic actions and early warning.
We've waited for months for Spring to arrive, and now it's here. The shortest of all the Canadian seasons and the most anticipated. Things are greening up and the white blossoms of the magnolias are popping. Here's a pop of white on green in Costa Rica. Another sign of anticipation.
My young Japanese friend, Kento, just posted some wonderful photos of his family enjoying the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan. It was lovely to see another family, on the other side of our incredible planet, enjoying the beauty of nature in the spring.
Here, in Southern Ontario, spring is still a much anticipated promise. My gardens are frozen, but tiny snow drops and a few crocus have popped their heads up. This photo was taken in May, last year, on my front lawn. We planted this flowering crab tree two years previously, and held our breath, praying for it to live and flourish.
It was magnificent. The flowers only last for a week or so, and then they disappear. But Spring promises renewal, and we have the hope and memories of the abundant life of the past. Enjoy Easter and the promise of Spring - the cycle of life.
The Shadow River
A Tribute to Pauline Johnson
A concrete bridge crosses it now
I parked on the graveled highway shoulder
and portaged the asphalt ribbon
that runs from Rosseau to Georgian Bay.
The sign said
Narrow, shallow, tea-coloured water
curving through bushy foliage and dense forest firs,
it disappears around a curve into an abstraction of green
A string of hydro lines spans the river,
poles sunk into the marsh it drains,
casting the only trace of humanity onto the surface,
caught in the looking glass
and the silence of the shadow river,
a mirror and a time tunnel
where once Pauline Johnson paddled.
I trace the outline, at the border, a fine line:
pictures above and below, all defying an orderly sense of vision,
blending old logging routes and modern growth,
balancing ancient solitude and present communication
floating and dreaming in wooden canoes
Of filmy sun, and opal-tinted skies,
of clouds of snow, above and below. They drifted with her drifting,
through brownish hills with needles green and gold,
and not a ripple moved to mar
the mirrored surface.
(A little fern bent upon the brink. Its green reflection
met a bubble in the pearly air.
My leaf floating upon the sapphire floor,
like in a dream.)
Two pathless worlds — her past, my present --
collide on an August afternoon
in the untamed country
on the river that was once a highway
and is now a bridge.
We only claimed the shadows and the dreaming.
Sharon Frayne is a writer and artist. She is a member of the Canadian Author's Association, the Niagara Writer's Circle and the Pumphouse Art Gallery. She looks for the universal experience and the mystery in everyday things.