It's trying to happen, this difficult birth, this long-awaited spring. The light has changed, if not the temperature, but slowly the green shoots push out of the earth anyway, the buds swell on the branches, the birds sing a new song. There are still traces of snow and ice on the northern sides of things, and tomorrow when we head down to the U.S. for a brief visit I'm sure we'll see snow in the woods and on the highest peaks. The inexorable northern march of the sun can't be stopped, though, and Montrealers still bundled in winter coats and scarves are trying to hasten it along, pulling cafe chairs and tables into the midday patches of sun, or bursting out in shorts and tank tops for a quick walk through the neighborhood, just because.
It's Holy Week, with lots of choir responsibilities, and tomorrow's trip south will put me further behind. I haven't had time to write anything about our trip to New York, which contained plenty of material for blog posts, or about some new artwork, or several books I've recently read. But all this will happen in its own time, or maybe it won't... and that's OK.
We stayed home last weekend instead of going to the studio, and worked on our apartment. I had felt almost disconnected from "home" because we've been spending so many hours at the studio, and it was good to spent Saturday making a big chicken and vegetable curry; doing laundry; reading; helping J. install some new shelves in the bedroom. Sunday -- Palm Sunday -- I was in church almost all day, and will be there every day from Wednesday through Easter Sunday. Non-choir-singers probably think that sounds outrageous, but for most of us who do this every year, Holy Week is a challenge of stamina, concentration, and musicianship as well as being an emotional ride. Hardly anyone, even the most unbelieving, can hear these stories without thinking about them at least a little bit; leaving the resurrection aside, the story of Jesus' betrayal, abandonment, trial and execution are timeless reminders of injustice, cruelty, and the crushing weight of power. I've stopped thinking of this as happening long ago because it feels so current; I don't think we've learned much.
Human beings always cling to hope, though, and Easter -- secular or sacred, symbolic or taken literally -- is a gate which opens onto spring.
For a much more raw look at nature, here is a link to a video clip of the erupting volcano sent to us by our Icelandic friends and former Vermont neighbors. (Click on the arrow at the top right of the article, where it says " Horfa á myndskeið með frétt." Can you believe it?