Today is a perfect late summer day, clear blue sky, a crisp morning followed by an afternoon warm enough to sit outside. This weather reminds me of my arrival in Canada some 28 winters ago. The weather that September and well into October was just like today - perfect. I loved it. And like those first explorers, I too was fooled, lulled into a false sense of well-being which left me totally unprepared for winter to follow.
Let's just say growing up in Melbourne, Australia that I didn't really understand what -23C temperatures really meant or that the hairs in my nostrils could freeze solid as soon as I stepped outside. So, despite ordering two bush cords of firewood today, I am banishing all thoughts of winter from my mind and enjoying these last warm perfect days.
I am also trying to convince my fig tree that summer will last a few more weeks. As you see from this photo, it is only about a meter high but prolific. I have already eaten a dozen delicious figs and there are about another two dozen waiting to ripen, but I fear half of them won't make it. Those of you who live where figs are allowed to to rot on the ground should be feeling guilty.
I carefully nurture this 10 year old tree, it winters inside like me
and has an olive tree about the same height to keep it company. I thought I might even get two or three olives this year - but the blossoms didn't set, perhaps next year. I have a third plant to complete my Mediterranean trinity - a lemon tree. Every Christmas it rewards me with lemon blossom, wonderful as it winters in the bathroom and then lemons. Life in Toronto, even in deepest winter, is not all bad if you remind yourself like Goethe, that there is a land where lemon trees bloom.