Sabañones, Reuma & The Detritus Of WinterThursday, December 09, 2010
I could go on but it would make me feel like one of those little Argentine old ladies talking incessantly about her bad health. In fact by the time I had grown up in Argentina I made it a habit of never asking anybody how they were or felt. I did not want to be plagued by a litany of maladies.
Of late I have noticed (and I have vowed to keep my trap shut henceforth) that when my friends call or when I have coffee with them I recite my health concerns. Only today I was telling my friend Ian Bateson that I was like a car no longer on warranty and there were problems with the brakes, the clutch, the tires, the ignition, etc!
It was sometime in the early 90s in the first few days of December that Western Living dispatched me to the Burrard Indian Reserve in North Van. I was supposed to take a photograph that answered a reader’s question, “Why is it that the Indian burial ground in North Vancouver has so many crosses with the name George?” Appropriately I was met by Chief Len George at the burial ground. He told he was there to make sure I did not desecrate. I am not sure exactly what he meant. But I liked him and his quiet ways. As soon as I finished taking my pictures, little snowflakes began to fall. George explained the tradition of his nation (which I believe is mostly a universal one) that elders and older members of his band looked at winter as a time of the year when everything had to be put right in preparation for the possible death. But if death was evaded that winter then one could rest easy that it marked a new spring and summer to come.
I feel that there is a big chance that I will survive this winter but I still look at the darkness outside and the constant rain with a bit of trepidation and gloom.
Last Saturday I suggested to the girls (Rebecca, Lauren and my own Rosemary) that we have a walk in VanDusen. It was a crisp but sunny afternoon. We walked and it felt wonderful to breath in the fresh cold air. I took a few snaps of the frozen and collapsed perennials. Nobody took a snap of me but I do look forward to coming back next spring just like the perennials, whose detritus you see here.