A zen sort of morning at the Manse

The view from  my reading spot in the shade of the ash tree: day lilies, old fenceposts, and fields in the distance. The signpost shows it’s the intersection of King Street and Bosley Road, which is close to the heart of Queensborough. A pretty quiet “downtown,” wouldn’t you say?

It was a searingly hot Saturday morning, and Raymond was off in Belleville getting some work done on his truck. I had a choice: do one of the hundreds of things that need doing around the Manse; or sit in the shade and read. I sensibly chose the latter.

Actually I had impetus beyond the all-important laziness and shade factors: the next day we were headed to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ont., where we were to see three Shakespeare plays, and I’d not yet finished reading the third one. (I like to bone up ahead of time. You get a lot more out of the performance that way.)

So there I was in my orange Solair chair, enjoying the shade of the ash tree and the fact that said shade made for the only patch of green grass on our drought-stricken lawn. And I was trying to focus on Much Ado About Nothing, I really was.

But I kept getting distracted by the sheer quiet and beauty around me, and I kept setting aside Beatrice and Benedick‘s flirty squabblings and pausing to look round and listen to the breeze.

Looking up, I could see the sun peeking through the ash tree’s branches, and I decided to try out a newly acquired iPhone app that Raymond’s daughter Dominique (a brilliant photographer and videographer) had introduced me to. It’s called 8mm Vintage Camera, and the idea is to make your video look truly old-school. So here’s my old-school video of the sun and the breeze (that’s the sound you hear) and the dancing leaves.

Kind of makes you want to meditate or something. And what’s wrong with that?

4 thoughts on “A zen sort of morning at the Manse

  1. What! You mean I’ve read something you haven’t? Er…hadn’t. I even wrote a paper in university about how to turn Much Ado into an operetta…that is, shorten it to one third of it’s original length. Hope you enjoyed the play – you and Nancy are making me homesick for Ontario with all your gadding about to Stratford.

    • I would love to read that paper, Valerie! Do you still have it? I found Much Ado a very accessible play, just downright funny and charming – which is more than I can say about a lot of Shakespeare’s “comedies.” (The Merchant of Venice, anyone?) Indeed, now that you mention it, it seems perfectly suited to an operetta. I think you would have liked the staging at Stratford, where it was set in Brazil (a very musical place). Come back and see it – it runs until Oct. 27!

      (Hey, what’s a forestry-engineer type like yourself doing writing university papers on turning a Shakespeare play into an operetta?)

  2. I heard that attendees at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ont were making a “big fuss about the inconsequential”…

    Now for zen moments…while sitting last evening [Tuesday] at around 8:30 pm [just after sundown] on my shoreline across from the newly cleared river bank, I noticed the virtual absence of human-made sounds. The occasional vehicle was relatively quiet…due to modern technology and e-tests [thus, very few exhaust systems in need of repair]. Town residents all seemed to be inside, presumably watching TV [a century ago, I suspect townfolks would be out walking or running the horse and buggy]. The tinkling sounds of the small dam was all that was evident. Then the mosquitos came out en mass at 9:15…

    Remember me pointing out the lack of noise when I stopped in at your place a week ago?…Must be a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Montreal city-life.

    • Graham, I lived that zen riverside moment through your description of it; thank you! (Though I could have done without the mosquitos at the end.) Yes, the peace and quiet of Queensborough are a far cry from life here in Montreal. But the contrast kind of makes each sweeter. It’s kind of like how if you lived in a place with a perfect climate all the time, a warm and sunny (and not-too-humid) summer day wouldn’t seem as special as it does to those of us who slog through the horrors of Quebec (and to a lesser degree Ontario) winters.

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