After complaining last week that I was not at all ready for summer to end, I feel very grateful for the continuing beautiful warm weather we've had. Tuesday as children headed back to school we had torrential rain (no other word starts to describe the downpours that arrived off and on all day) and I felt my limbs heavy from the wet, and a queasy feeling in my gut, the shadow or echo of years of nervous anticipations of the first day of classes.
Now that's done, and the first difficult week of adjusting to the new school rhythm is over.
Meantime at the university campus just up the street the frosh have been cavorting and following orders...It's always a little disturbing to see large groups of young people obediently trooping after a person with a bull-horn, and doing as they're bid. Last weekend it was the engineers, painted purple and wearing yellow hard hats. This week it's been Arts students in T-shirts singing silly songs and shouting things.
I see the young ones in the bank too, without the protection of the crowd. Then they look like their true selves, unsure, very young, and finding their way, opening a first bank account for example. Soon enough they'll settle into jaded cool, studying, knowing their way around, able to read the urban signals about clothing and caste and group at a single glance.
But for now I'm loving the naivete of the frosh, all wet behind the ears and trying not to show it, even if it comes with group behaviour.
Some good news this week, in no particular order: more lovely pods on the okra plants, and more ripe tomatoes; yesterday a lovely guy named Tyler, widely travelled all over, but whom I know from Burma, dropped by and gave me useful advice about the Burma tour I'm taking in this coming February (details soon on immersethrough.com); news that the copies of BURMA: Rivers of Flavor have now reached the warehouse; confirmed venue for a book launch party at Supermarket in Kensington Market on October 15; nice anticipatory reviews of the book in various blogs (there are links to them on my Facebook fan page; and a very interesting film today at the Toronto Film festival, called Ship of Thesus, or something like that, set in India and beautifully shot.
Also today had a visit from Lejen, who lives in Toronto and Beijing. She brought over some treats and took away with her a huge melon to try, one from my neighbour's vine. Every year the vine comes vigorously over the fence and spreads all over my garden. And every year there are large rounded stripey green fruits hanging from it. This year I donated one to Lejen. She made inquiries in Chinatown and reports that it's a Shark's fin Melon, cucurbita ficifolia is the Latin name. The seeds are especially prized, according to Wikipedia. If I learn more I'll pass it on.
Next Tuesday I head out to Seattle to go to the Kneading Conference West, at Mt Vernon. I can't wait. I'm carrying out a load of Evelyn's Crackers for my friend Dawn. And that means I need to abandon my usual goal of no checked luggage (the crackers have to be hand-carried). Ah well...