This past span of three days marked the holiday long weekend known as the Victoria Day Weekend or May Two-Four here in Canada. Traditionally honouring Queen Victoria’s birthday or more recently Queen Elizabeth’s (the actual date of which I have no idea) this holiday, celebrated on the Monday of or before the 24th of May, is the unofficial beginning of the summer season up here in the Great White North. The term May "two-four" weekend has been coined most recently in reference to the association of drinking (a case of beer having 24 or “two-four” bottles enclosed) rather than the actually date of occurrence which changes from year to year.
Regardless the May 2-4 weekend can usually be counted on for alcohol, fireworks and, if you are a “fashionista” here in Canada, the all clear for wearing white shoes and white pants from now until Labour Day. This particular holiday weekend is also known for cold and/or rainy weather and this past weekend did not disappoint. The wind was wild and chilly, the sun was intermittent and the only thing lacking was the usual downpour. The post-holiday tradition also continues as the weather forecast following the holiday weekend (that must now be enjoyed from inside the workweek office) is summer warm.
Locally the holiday was marked by a guided tour of the Spicer Trail. The tour heralds a new movement to encourage tourism and historic enrichment in the area. (Next weekend promises to be even busier with a live history weekend at the Backus/Page House presented by the local dramatic society and the T.H.S and the commencement of a number of shunpikers to get everyone out and about.) Spreading out from the nucleus that forms the base of my hamlet, various Optimist and Kinsmen clubs offered the promise of firework delights that, due to the high winds, had to be delayed until the climate was agreeable. Not to worry though, despite the uncooperative weather, there is still a pageant on display. As the season changes from spring to summer, the yard presents its own fireworks.
The first blooms of the year are flaming out in brilliant shades, brief flashes of colour across the expanse of the yard. They will in turn be followed by even greater displays of light and colour until the final climax of fall’s glamorous golden and rusted flares. Here every explosion, every bloom, is appreciated and exclaimed over, an intricate part of the beautiful whole.
The meadowlark, a shocking yellow, is a curious cat that peers a lopsided one eye through the window screen, watching us watching him. The humming bird, mouse grey and lavender, hovers on invisible wings above bunches of saffron blooms until the wind rings the chimes and sends him off in search of a quieter meal. Everywhere the air tastes like lilac, apple blossom and lily of the valley. All this is here now and with the promise of the long summer days just on the horizon and the magic of fall too far off yet to imagine…Really, I think fireworks might actually pale in comparison.