The New Season
During that year at Teacher's College, one of my placements was in a High School in Ottawa.
I ended up staying at a friend's place for those two weeks. On this particular morning, we made a little fire as we watched the sun rising on the first day of spring.
It is a cool morning, freezing drizzle turning to freezing rain encases the paved jungle. It has been three days since the spring solstice brought us the warmth of the new season. On that morning we greeted the sun as it rose over the city on this special day.
The phone rang at 5:20 a.m. Our call had come as I lay there in my early morning fog. Outside, the sight of the fading stars revealed that on this morning we would see the eternal light. The howling wind slowly helped clear away my haze and helped me begin the awaiting morning ritual. Anticipating cool air, I dressed appropriately and within minutes we were drifting with the breeze.
At this hour, we owned the streets. The driving army had not been called to work yet. Frozen puddles crackled and without even looking, one could 'hear' what the terrain looked like; Interwoven areas of sandy concrete, frozen grass and solid ice. All signs of this transitional period.
At 5:56 a.m. we met 4 others. We headed toward one of the last remaining wooded ares overlooking the Rideau canal where a teepee or long house may have stood a few centuries ago.
The first warmth we created with the fourth match. Shortly after 6:00 a.m. rays of sun engulfed us and brought out the true colours of giant red pines that stood with us. I envied the trees as they were able to greet our nearest star every morning and they do not even have to get out of bed. We offered tobacco to the flames and sprinkled sage and cedar flakes which is used as a native form of purification. I felt so awake and fortunate to greet the new day. It was 6:40 a.m.
The morning heat hissed with two chunks of ice, the sun was with us now. We walked out of the woodlot, over a lock and through some parking lots. City sounds now filled my senses. The daily war is on its way.
Back at Jake's, the radiator warmed the air, black coffee helped as well. The kitchen quickly became filled. Hot butter sizzled, blueberry dotted pancake mix landed on top. A thin layer of maple syrup and a fork reinforced the time of year. I left the party early, it was 7:45 a.m.
I said, "Good morning" to some fellow teachers at Gloucester High School but I was the only one who knew what I meant.