Sunny Days!

flowers blooming in October garden
 This October has been so warm and sunny! We have had almost no rain but the cooler temperatures and the moist evening air has created so many beautiful scenes in the neighbourhood.
I passed a dewy spider's web on my way to book club.

At my book club, we discussed Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. The novel follows two lines of an African family from capture as slaves in Ghana to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. We found the book to be well-written but the multigenerational plot became confusing to most of our readers. We were appalled to learn that black prisoners in  Alabama worked off their "board charges" from prison by working on chain gangs in coal mines until 1928.

But our discussion moved from slavery (never in Canada) to colonialism and the tendency of Europeans to dismiss all others as "barbarians" in need of civilizing. I was thinking of the migrantes
travelling northward from Central America. Descendants of the Mayans, "civilized" by the Spanish and British, politically and economically exploited by the more affluent nations (Canada operates mines in Honduras), these people are risking their lives to travel to an unwelcoming land of uncertainty.

I enjoy my morning book club because the participants are always eager to extend the discussion beyond the book. The book is a "jumping off point" but the discussions that ensue are usually related to personal experience or social justice.

There are still some ditches left in our neighbourhood.

Walking on  these golden days, I notice a nearby ditch. Almost of of the ditches have disappeared.
When I was a girl, the neighbourhood ditches were our playground. We watched tadpoles change into frogs, we played ditch tag and we even walked on the ice that formed during a especially cold winter.
There were skating rinks in adjacent municipalities but ours was not built until I was in my teens. Our parents used to say that we could get polio from the ditches. 

the rich colours of a neighbourhood tree

I've been trying to walk in my neighbourhood on a regular basis. I find that I need a purpose or a friend to motivate my walks. Large homes with family parking lots have replaced smaller homes with gardens. I've not driven since my cataract surgery. I need to get my license changed because I don't wear corrective lenses anymore. I regard driving as an unpleasant encumbrance and I believe that the automobile should be used as little as possible. Many cities in the world are working to ban or limit the use of private vehicles within the city centre.

Have you noticed that, as you get older, you care more about social justice and the environment? Having led a life of comfort and convenienience (relatively), I find myself feeling and caring much as I did in my late teens. So much seems wrong and so much is likely to change in the next 50 years. Education is changing, organized religion is reshaping, new forms of government will need to be implemented, nations and alliances will reconfigure.

I'm off to work in a school library this afternoon. I know the school and the teacher-librarian so I'm feeling quite comfortable.  The clouds are rolling in, change is in the air!


  1. Book clubs, good discussions, beautiful walks, and reminiscences about ditches - you've covered a lot in this post, and all of it enjoyable!

    1. Do you notice that some days seem to be full of ideas? I think that my daytime book/discussion group is often thought provoking. It's at the church and we often extend our discussion to current world situations.


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