Thursday, 22 November 2012

Knock, Knock

When you find yourself guilty of the avoidance or neglect of a place, I have learned that it is appropriate conduct to knock before you barge over a threshold un-regularly crossed. Knocking says with an action that which would take much longer with words; a knock simultaneously offers an apology for absence, acknowledges the created estrangement, and requests permission to re-enter not only the physical premisses guarded by the tapped-upon door but also the social freedoms of forgiveness and friendship.

It is with this understanding that I type here, humbly knocking on the proverbial door of my own unattended blog. You, my reader... it is with you that I must reconcile. 

I have avoided any formal postings for months, knowing that whenever I finally came back to these pages I would owe to you not simply a story of my imagination, but also a true story -- an update that I very much need to write, but have been afraid to put down on paper. The truth of it is so straight-forward, the reality of my situation such a blessing and my projected short-term future so bright that the blurred, darkening edges of my outlook are senseless. Please ignore any doubt or cynicism that might slither its way into what I hope to be a hope-filled letter.

I am living at home this year. Home in Muskoka, back with my parents, working part time at the camp that consumed this past summer and has laid claim to the next. Life in Muskoka slows down as the temperature drops in the sweet, stiffening way that pulled maple toffee does when it is moved from bubbling stovetop to a blanket of fresh snow. The tourists that mingle about after the leaves begin to fall have long since cleared out; the dog-walkers and jog-runners are fewer and farther between; windows are shut up tight; cars are armed with a brush and shovel... winter is on its way.

And just around the corner is December; the quietest of months in this place, freezing lake and lung in one chilly blow. My desire is to admire this icy world from the comfort of some soft sofa, on professionally prescribed bed-rest, out of commission and quite literally off my feet. (I'm currently waiting for a call from the hospital that will give me a date for the foot surgery I've needed since childhood. The phone has yet to ring.) In the meantime, I've spent the last several days unpacking many boxes of books, stopping from time to time to read a few pages of the ones that jump out. I've skimmed through novels and recipe collections, atlases and commentaries, comics, journals, musical scores, dictionaries and fairy tales. It's a fragmented sort of learning but I rarely close a cover without some new bit of knowledge.

It's been a season of setting-to-order. I still have a few dusty corners that need sweeping out and washing up, but there is time.


That, my friends, is a blessing.