A Thanksgiving for small things
Thinking of the many things for which we can give thanks, at this Thanksgiving time of year, most of us don’t have to go far down memory lane. I did, and thought of the traditional Grade 5 essay topic, “What I did last summer”.
This summer was thank-able, despite the rain and cool temperatures. Even that weather had its benefits, despite the disastrous and costly flooding. Benefits this time were for vegetation – our plants should do the thanking, especially trees; this summer’s bumper crop of flowers and seeds on trees, were thanks to the moisture. White Pine, spruces and cedars, Hornbeam, and Basswood . . . maples are still throwing branchfuls of twirling seeds, and birch trees! It’s an ill wind that doesn’t benefit someone, even trees. It’s about time our habitat was able to do some thanking!
This summer, I’m personally thankful to have been fishing often, with thanks to my grandkids who love catching spunky bass, scary catfish, an occasional pike. Not so many thanks to trout; that fishing was super, but not the catching. Fishing with old friends was a genuine treat.
We visited family and a few friends, swam in several lovely pools, ate plenty of BBQ fare. A borrowed cottage on Lac Vert, off the Pontiac’s Black River, and a Muskoka cottage . . . more thanks!
What really merits my thanks is a book project undertaken with an illustrator friend (Jorma Linqvist from Finland). The book, titled Haiku’ku is a mix of poetic and visual haiku’ku, a type of poem we’ve named and, hopefully, groomed to acceptability. Something both haiku-like and humourous, free of rules and restraints but determined to carry a message beneath its clean lines and quick turn-arounds. It was a larger job that anticipated, yet stimulating. Thanks!
I’d been writing these haiku-like three-liners for decades and have a big collection – the selection was the work. Haiku’ku may be a tough sell, given that no one has heard of them, but they may be just the refreshing thing we need in this era of teapot tempests and political bombast. Matching my haiku’ku with Jorma’s drawings was the job – and then laying all this out in some form of a mock-up to show a publisher took the entire summer, with work still to be done. Fortunately, an incredible lay-out expert is now lending a hand. Thanks!
What’s a summer without something for which to give thanks? Or a summer without a special project? I had thought of a little booklet on fishing – not technical, but containing concise sayings gleaned from years of casting, trolling, and laying out flies. For example, “Don’t bite a hook” -- pretty obvious! -- but less so is, “There’s bait everywhere, and baited hooks keep coming.” Or, “all that glitters isn’t free”, especially with a juicy worm at its end. I didn’t get far with that project -- another thank-you to the cosmos!