All That Is Glorious Around Us
by Barbara Crooker
is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn's bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain's
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.
And it's true that all that is glorious is not just the grand vistas and sublime peaks. But we enjoyed them all the same this past weekend as we made a quick road trip to Banff for the annual art show at Canada House Gallery. We left early the next morning since we invariably wake up at 6am, weekend or not. It was still dark when we drove out of town, and both of us just wanted to be back home. I'd wanted to take photos around town, but gave that idea up. And honestly, I wasn't expecting much, maybe a click or two as we drove through the park. But then the sun rose, and holy. The colours!
I say yes to the radiance of the every day, to the glories of breath, but I also say yes to the sunrise in the rocky mountains, as we drove through, back home to those we love, and to our simple and rather happily dull existence.