More than three decades ago when we lived in Calgary, Magellan and I thought we’d go to Japan in the spring for the sakura (桜), the Japanese word for cherry blossoms derived from saku 咲, which means to bloom. I even studied Japanese in anticipation. For some reason that I don’t recall, we didn’t go. How foolish we were to even think we had to travel that far for hanami—viewing cherry blossoms—you only need to go as far west as Vancouver, which now has its own Sakura Festival every April. Since April is also National Poetry Month, we’ve curated a collection of our favourite sakura haikus, adding Spice’s own attempt as well.
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After too much wine at dinner last February just before Valentine’s Day, Magellan said to Ginger, “I’ll drive your stuff to Saskatoon.”
“Dad wasn’t serious was he?” Lynn asked on the walk home. “There’s no way,” I replied. “Driving a big rental truck through the mountains at this time of year would be ludicrous. Plus there are border issues. He’d have to drive down to Seattle first to pick up all Ginger’s stuff. I’ll talk him out of it.”
Eighteen days later Magellan was behind the wheels of a thirty-four-foot U-Haul truck attached to a sixteen-foot U-Haul trailer—a fifty-foot rig! And I was riding shotgun.
Do you, like me, associate a special place with a specific colour? Take Taos, New Mexico. I’ve been there in three different seasons, yet for me, one colour signifies this sun-filled high-desert town—corn yellow.
Maybe it’s the crisp brilliance of the thin air at 2100 metres, a spot some call the birthplace of the sun. Or the pure yellow of aspen leaves in autumn. Or maybe it’s because of a soup.
Yes, a soup. A soup from a recipe in Gourmet in November 1993 called “Corn Chowder from The Historic Taos Inn.”