April 30th, 2020

koitsu benkei bridge

Is this/ This is/ not the spring of old

The flowering bush next door, which I had to be reminded was a currant, sprang into flower overnight and has also spread much further than I had imagined. Caught a glimpse of it day before yesterday from the study window, white in the evening rain, but when I inspected it today the blossoms were ready to fall. NewNextDoors cut me a branch anyway from the slightly sturdier side, and one from the nearly in bloom plum, and they now perfume my kitchen.

The plum tree's trunk is just this side of the lot line but the branches have twisted so they're all on the other side. NNDs and I consulted about the back yard. I suggested, regretfully, that the plum might come down without loss. It's too tall now to cut flowering branches from, and in a good year the fruit falls on the garage roof and rots the shingles. I shall miss it, of course, and its five-day sweetness, but this year is such a year of endings that it might as well go in the apocalypse along with everything else.

I never noticed the plum blossoms, or the cherry's for that matter, until I got back from Japan in '96. That most liminal of years is what I think of when I remember white blossoms in the rain, and this year is another of the same sort, equally as unsettled and depaysee. The Toronto I came back to from Japan was not at all the Toronto I knew for forty years: was all unknown and unpleasant territory. (Red-neck premier, the likes of which red Tory Ontario had never seen before. Trump in miniature, and equally as disconcerting.) (Red Tories are Conservatives with a conscience: middle of the road, the way we like them. Vanished breed now, of course.)

And this year is--

The Queen is preparing to ride down London Way.
Where will we all be on Coronation Day?

More mundanely, NNDs have a sonic raccoon scarer under the kitchen window, where raccoons were wont to poo, that seems to work, so I may put my own into the cherry tree and hope that will keep mama and babies out. Also they've gutted the kitchen, and discovered the mice and rat poo of decades under the counters and back of the drawers. Mice are no surprise, but I didn't know the rats had made it over there.