How blessed am I? So blessed that A. and M. gave me a pair of tickets to Canada Blooms! This year, it is being held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto from March 15-24, so last Friday my husband and I sent the kids to school and drove off to spend the day together. We got there just as the show opened, and lazily made our way through the feature gardens and the marketplace. We saw incredible things, like the flowers arranged to look like a bedroom, and a cute-as-a-button bicycle with yellow flowers (God forgive my envy). We loved the dog house with a living roof, too, and walked very slowly through the creative “Live Outside” exhibit.
We enjoyed the market place and stopped to chat with our friends at NEOB (Niagara Essential Oils and Blends) who we met two years ago when I was on sabbatical. It was great to hear about how they have expanded to include not just lavender and scented geranium, but are growing orange trees and roses now, too! I treated myself to a little bottle of lavender pillow spray (since lavender is an herb that encourages relaxation and I need all the help I can get) and also something I had never tried before: lavender chocolate! Of course I liked it (it was chocolate–duh!) but it also had a gentle flowery taste that was completely new. Yum!
We went by the booth for GardenMaking magazine, too. It was wonderful to meet editor Becky Fox and her daughter, Katherine and we chatted for quite a few minutes about growing vegetables on the front lawn and passing the love of gardening on to your children. I already liked the magazine, but meeting them made it seem even more authentic. I love Canadian publications.
The hours seemed to fly by until we were ready to head for home again. I was sorry to leave, but feeling encouraged and hopeful. The greenery and beauty were the perfect antidote to an Ontario winter that just won’t quit. I am ready for a change of season. Bring on the sunshine, the first shoots of green, and weather warm enough to get my hands in the dirt!
And that was perhaps the best gift of all from Canada Blooms: fresh hope. The sights and smells of tulips and hyacinth, the silly garden ornaments for sale, and the talk of soil amendments reminded me that spring really IS coming. Nothing can hold it back: not my busy schedule, not my fretting over an un-landscaped backyard, not my wish that I had started more seedlings by now (this year I will just have to buy my leeks!) Even though today the winds are howling and the snow stubbornly continues to fall, it will not be this way forever.
I really love that about the world God made: for all its mystery and strangeness, the changing of the seasons is dependable, and happens without any help from me. Too often I feel as if everything really does depend on me (ministers are prone to that, as are mothers, so I suppose I get a double dose!) and it is good to remember now and again that it isn’t true. In the coming weeks, the daffodils will most certainly bloom and the trees will sprout new leaves, without fail and without my help.
Yes, spring is coming, no matter what. And that is good news for my winter weary soul.