(click on pictures to enlarge)
We’ve had beautiful weather in Toronto but there are clear signs that summer has come to an end, The nights are getting cooler and there is a feeling of seasonal change in the air. I have been lucky to catch the tail end of some summer activities. One evening, a week or two ago, a friend invited me to join them on their boat for a sunset sail. It was a beautiful, sunny evening and we sailed around the harbour enjoying the Toronto skyline. The sunset was spectacular as you can see above and it was most invigorating feeling the wind in the sails. Afterwards, we had a fine dinner in the yacht club washed down by copious amounts of red wine. A great way to end a memorable experience!
Last weekend I visited my sister Florinda at their cottage in southern Ontario. The weather was glorious and there was a studio tour happening so we went from studio to studio in the countryside admiring sculptures, paintings, pottery and such. The highlight for me was actually a garden. A work of art created by Jonas Stonkus who displays his other works with metal and glass in the garden so that walking through it was like wandering around an outdoor gallery.
One of the routines of being in the country is that that the dog has to get his long walk. We went for a walk in the woods where Florinda and her husband, who are expert at picking wild mushrooms, found the first crop of the autumn.
Needless to say, there was wild mushroom risotto for dinner that night. I couldn’t help thinking of Loris who loved hunting for mushrooms with Florinda and who, being northern Italian, made superb risotto. I used to leave all the Italian cooking to him but I followed his way of making mushroom risotto as best as I could remember and it was quite good, even if I say so myself.
Some of my friends have been commenting on how well I seem to be doing what with biking, canoeing, and spending time in the countryside. This is true to some extent as my family and friends have taken the trouble to invite me to things and have included me in their excursions but grief is a strange beast. It does not diminish in a linear fashion so it’s not like walking through a tunnel and seeing the light at the end getting closer. Some days, I feel quite normal, even happy, and some days I feel very sad. The only change is that the sadness is not as extreme as it was a few months ago. I suspect that I will continue in this way for quite some time.
On one of our walks at the weekend, I saw this beautiful butterfly. I was reminded that butterflies are symbolic of transformation going from egg to caterpillar, to pupa to magnificent flying insect in their short lifespan. The seasons also change as do all living things including ourselves. We have no control over the twists and turns that lie ahead of us and we sometimes have to completely change our course. Periods of transition are most unsettling but I’m working on the notion that we can use change to reflect on our lives and try to become better human beings.