The cure for separation anxiety? The future.

In the city, there are two seasons, winter and construction. More often than not, both seasons are messy times and I don’t miss either. When I first decided to make the transition from urban life to rural, many people in my life at the time said it would never work and we’d be back in the city in no time. “I give them six months, and they’ll be back.” A few people, like my mother, grandmother and the odd friend, knew that I was never meant to be an urbanite in the first place. Those people wondered why it took me so long to figure out where I belonged.

The “naysayers” in our life held their biggest argument in my children. They (and there were many) were in agreement that removing my children from the city, thereby from their family, friends and all they had ever known, was the most selfish thing Paul and I could ever do. They believed my children would be devastated and never willingly adapt to the new life we had planned for them. It was an angry time amongst my extended family, who often looked for every tool they could use in their fight to block us from leaving.

The area in which we now live is a place I have been coming to off and on my whole life. When I was a child, long before my parent’s divorce, we camped here, “roughing it” in the bush of Algonquin straight through to Georgian Bay. Paul and I have friends who’ve always lived in this area and we had visited quite steadily, consistently spending the majority of our weekends for most of the past 10-12 years in the bush and on the land. To us, it seemed natural to migrate to where we were most comfortable and we were confident that our children had the ability to adapt to what they were already familiar with.

Although the transition was not without struggle, heartache and heartbreak, it’s been four years since we packed the necessities, kids included, and started out on the trek to salvation.

While looking for a recipe I’d copied a few years ago, I found in my paper journal an entry I made at the beginning of it all…

I am so eager to start our new life that sometimes it takes my breath away. My heart starts beating out of my chest every time I start daydreaming of the future. What’s worse, is that most days, the future is all I can think about. It gets so overwhelming that I seem to spend the whole day hyperventilating.

There were struggles with the children, I’d be a liar if I said things were all peaches and cream. My oldest daughter did in fact return to the city within six months of moving to the north. And my oldest son had issues with the kids in his new highschool who felt he needed to prove himself worthy. My youngest two adapted the easiest, due to their age, I’m sure. They only found the solitude the most daunting, but quickly found new ways to entertain themselves. My daughter has since moved back to the north and is setting down her own roots in the area with a fiance and a home of her own. My son, who found his inner redneck, is temporarily (wishful thinking?) in a city spending the next four years with his girlfriend doing the student living/University thing. One would be hard pressed to believe the youngest two weren’t born and bred here…Drew’s favorite chores are splitting wood and grooming trails, and Sara…well, Sara is a whole other story. It’s not odd to find her down the road in a pair of welly boots, jeans and a tank top, sporting a cowboy hat, (or a fedora, depending on her mood) elbows deep in fish guts or skinning pelts for the local trapper, with perfectly polished fingernails and an iPod in her back pocket.

 Although we all still keep a little bit of the city buried deep inside (we do afterall, stress the importance of remembering where one comes from) we’re adapting to our surroundings rather nicely. We’re finding our own true natures, naturally. In the North we have more seasons than one can keep track of…there’s snowmobile season, reno season, the spring thaw, planting season, black fly season, ditching, dog days of summer, BBQ season, the gathering time, mosquito season, deerfly season, the harvest, the fall, the freeze, the snow….

 I rarely venture outdoors without a camera in hand and this morning was no exception. Some times I capture the fantastical things and on those occasions I pause to contemplate my place amongst them. Sometimes, I capture the typical things, and I pause to reflect the contentment of being.

As I’m sure you all know, the gardens are vastly important to us, providing us with food, entertainment and an opportunity to connect to the cycle of life. I’ll let you decide what is what.

To some, there might not yet be much to see in our gardens, as the season is short and just kicking off. There’s little sprigs of lettuce popping through the ground and soon we’ll find cold hardy foods making an appearance. The flower beds are taking life by the horns, I’m halfway through making this process easier for them.

The main garden, freshly weeded, tilled and mulched.

Our smallest garden, off the back deck, leading around to the blackberry bramble.

The herb garden, which is always the most evolving, never looking the same two years in a row. Off to a mediocre start perhaps, but the smell is amazing nonetheless.

Unlike my fellow gardeners Willow and Diane, and the rest of my southern friends, there isn’t much in bloom yet in our neck of the woods.

Just some English primrose…

Blood trilliums…


Cushion Phlox…


And of course, the daffodils which are now in full swing…

And let’s not forget the wildlife, who keep a steady eye, ensuring that we always put our best foot forward…



  1. Diane said,

    April 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS!! I do so love spring garden porn the most, I believe. It’s just so fresh and neat, no giant weeds threatening to take over the world, everything cute and containable…

    • April 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm

      …if only I could afford a gardener to help keep it that way!

      “spring garden porn “

      Too funny, I’ll have to remember that…

  2. willowbatel said,

    April 27, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Hahaha, your kids sound super fun. Much more interesting then the people I hang out with for sure.
    Oh look at the trillium. My mom loves trillium and we just bought some for under the cherry tree. I love how it manages to change colors three times. What other flower does that?
    Pulminaria. It’s also known as lungwort (in case you didn’t already know). The hummingbirds in our neck of the woods love it. I had to get some; it’s too witchy sounding not to have it in ones garden.
    *sigh* gardening is such a blissful thing. Plants in general seem to put me in a state of awe quite often.
    Aww, so cute!

    • April 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Did you know it’s called lungwort because if you pull off a leaf and blow into it, it will inflate? Trilliums are the “provincial flower” here in Ontario, and where we are, the white ones grow like wildfire all along the roads, in fields, up hills and in the trees. Right about now, they’re in their pale pink stage. I love the blood red ones though. The ones I have in the garden stay red, they look really nice with the wild ones in their different stages of colour.

      • willowbatel said,

        April 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

        What! Oh I’m going to go and try it as soon as I’m done writing this!
        Lol, I’ll have to let my mom know we need to take a little trip over to your house. She wants to see Yellowstone anyway, and since that’s along the way, I think she’d be alright continuing on up into your neck of the woods. You wouldn’t miss two or three trilliums from down the road would you?

  3. April 27, 2010 at 2:00 am

    You’re opening up a new way of seeing for me.

    • April 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

      *she pauses…and smiles*
      It’s what you do with the view that is most important, my friend.

  4. Lisa said,

    April 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Gorgeous flowers and lots of food for thought. We live in an apt now and they’re pretty lenient about what plants we can throw out around our part of the urban sprawl, so flower pots everywhere. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen trillium before, don’t know if it’s that hardy in NC.
    It looks like you tend the gardens meticulously. My favorite though is all the daffodils and I love the picture of the chipmunk (here we have grey squirrels) so that’s a real treat.
    I love nature, but wouldn’t want to give up the handyness of everything, so I guess the Thorearou life isn’t for me unless it’s 5 minutes away from a McDonalds. Really great post and I’m glad all worked out so well for everyone.

    • April 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks Lisa!
      I tend the gardens meticulously, until they get down right out of control. It’s not necessarily the weeds either, that become the problem. A lot of what’s planted will get HUGE. Trimming them, stopping them from killing other plants, that part gets on my nerves. Round about mid August, I’ll have had enough and just let things go wild….then in the spring, I’ll bitch myself out for letting things get so out of hand.
      Its great that you still “garden” even though you live in an apartment!
      I’m a Wendy’s girl, rather than McD’s. But luckily for me, there’s a Wendy’s on the highway between “town” and my house. 😉

  5. May 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    […] herb garden, kitchen garden, perennial garden, Solomon's Seal, tick bite, vegetable garden A month ago today, I posted a few pics of the gardens as they were just starting out. These are perennial gardens, […]

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