jeudi 20 février 2014

Visiting Lórien

(The French version of this post is actually a bit longer... when I translated it from the English, I found I had more things to say. And there are more pictures, including a drawing of a tree that looks a bit like Pina Bausch to me :o)

One of my favourite aspects of living in Montreal (along with its truly welcoming personality) is that each of its four seasons allows you to travel in space, as well as in time.

Icy stars floating on the grass.

Spring, for instance, visits us briefly during the first two weeks of May – until then all the trees are still bare – and it is bewitching in a way that I have never experienced in Europe. It takes you to a kind of  Lórien where Maple trees rule the city, overwhelming the streets with fragrant bouquets of tiny, yellow-green flowers.

You can almost see them opening up.

Montreal summers are tropical in many ways, including the relaxed atmosphere, and the fact that even a single sheet is too warm on your skin at night, with windows wide open. Then as soon as mid-September (usually), autumn brings a mountain-like quality to the air and light; warm, golden afternoons alternate with crisp, clear nights.

This radiance of bright-coloured leaves is quite ephemeral and dream-like, too.

In winter, it’s like Scandinavia here (everybody’s sliding, cross-country skiing, skating or snowshoeing, even in the heart of the city), except we get as many hours of daylight as people in Bordeaux, France, being on the same latitude. Which is nice, particularly when the sky is such a deep blue, and temperature regularly drops to - 22 C several days in a row, usually with a - 28 C wind chill (- 18 F).

Mont-Royal Cemetery.

I have been attracted to Scandinavian countries – winters, summers, spirit, and languages included – since I was maybe twelve or so... Walking through wide expanses of glimmering snow, or even seeing skaters in every park, still feels to me like traveling to a lovely foreign place.

In Parc Lafontaine.

Even at home, since I can’t afford to heat much, I layer woollen sweaters and skirts in a Scandinavian kind of outfit, complete with striped socks, mittlets, and knitted pointed hat  :o)

In a Swedish garden...

Love this little cape.

By mid-February, however, I often find myself longing for summer, as I long for a friend I haven’t seen in months, and miss dearly. I need to be hugged by the warm wind, I want to offer my bare legs and shoulders to its touch, and to ride my bike everywhere.

Ink on paper.

Also, I miss my friends the trees – whose crown is revealed in intricate detail on the winter sky – because I can’t have my usual happy conversations with them. Half asleep, they are patiently enduring the cold and stillness.

Roots criss-crossing on the surface: a common sight in Montreal parks.

But the simple sight of these hundreds of Maple buds-in-waiting, right there in the middle of winter, makes me sigh with gratitude, and a secret pleasure.

On the Mont-Royal.

I guess my favourite time of the year is June, when everything is still blooming and pulsing with joy; the days extend well into the evening, and the evenings are so soft that they make you cry. And yet, it is very frustrating to have other obligations – like working and sleeping – distracting me from this pure bliss. 

And don't even get me started on Peonies.

So I find that I am most creative and balanced in September… Maybe because it's my birthday month :o)

Do seasons affect you a lot, in a positive or negative way? Which is your favourite one?

10 commentaires:

  1. Tu arrives à mettre en mots exactement ce que je ressens! C'est vraiment très beau :) Comme toi, fin février, j'attends impatiemment de revoir les chemins sous la neige, qu'on réinstalle les filets de tennis, d'attendre le bus mon visage tourné vers le soleil et de pouvoir attendre des heures durant... Le canal Rideau glacé d'Ottawa me manquera, certes, mais fin février c'est comme si la personne que je suis l'été avait fini son hibernation et elle n'en peut plus d'être coincée dans ce corps d'hiver, dans ces vêtements trop encombrants...aaaah (soupir) et pourtant mai arrivera bien assez vite!

    1. Merci Aude :o) et comme tu dis, on ne se sent pas vraiment légère, ni en contact avec les éléments, lorsqu'on est recouverte par trois couches de vêtements, plus un manteau, une tuque attachée sous le menton, et deux paires de moufles. Même chez moi, je ne me suis pas promenée en Tshirt depuis la fin septembre!

  2. I like the Swedish girl !

    She really looks like you in winter time, when cheeks and nose are 'pinky-peachy' popping up on your pale skin...

    And the door drawn below remember me the view I had through my own front door in the former house in the Vexin...

    And this is a peony too that truly was my first thrill in 'floral photography'...

    So it fully appears to me that we are connected in some way, above all the brotherhood stuff... ;o)

    1. We are indeed connected on various levels, dear bro... :o)

      Speaking of which, I hope you can get Skype in the near future ! I miss you a lot and your sweet family too.

      Congratulations for your English by the way ! Sista xx

  3. Réponses
    1. Thanks dear Rachel :o)

      Coming from you it's even more appreciated, since I'm a big fan of your writing - and of you in general :o)

  4. What a sweet window into a city on the other side of the continent. I've never had the pleasure of living somewhere where it's hot in the summer AND cold in the winter and it sounds like a dream. These images are beautiful. I love the one of the Rowan tree in the french version and of course, I love this little swedish damsel. Your work is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. <3

    1. Milla darling, I think you would feel quite at home in Montréal, not just for its weather, for it has a true cosmopolitan vibe along with its relaxed welcoming-ness. Also, you know this Zen/Buddhist saying "Wherever you go, there you are" ? Well, some places have a definite ability to Let You Be Who You Really Are. Montréal was that precious place for me, and many people I've met here have had the same feeling as soon as they arrived, and ever since.

      Which shows that every place (island or city, or forest) has its own ancient/present energy - and that everyone can catch it right away, even if they are not aware of how it all works :o)

  5. La jeune suédoise est fantastique - c'est parfait !
    J'aime aussi beaucoup le sorbier dans la VF et la porte avec les reflets à l'encre (Iroshizuku?)

    1. Merci pour ton commentaire enthousiaste :o)

      Je ne sais plus si l'encre du dessin est une Iroshizuku, ou bien une Herbin (Lie de thé). Je devrais essayer d'en refaire !