"...get a bowl of snow
not to eat but just to admire
like a bowl of cut flowers."
- from "Ice Mountain" by Dave Bonta
March heralds spring in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but not here in Québec, where it is still a winter month, even when the snow thaws to slush and on a specially warm day, we feel the sun's warmth on our faces.
"Not so fast", March says in my adopted city, Montréal. If you left your hat behind and the sun has set, you'll be cast backward to January's freeze. Still, we make a stab at spring: the markets fill with maple syrup and its offspring. la tire, boiled and reduced maple syrup poured over a mound of snow.
As the the days lengthen and the clock "springs forward", Northern people say, "We're out of the woods; we made it through another winter." We scan the sky for returning birds; the air begins to carry organic smells again. Markets sell forced forsythia and pots of tulips but we're wary: Don't pack your boots away, we tell one another.
I'm hosting a draw for one free print copy of a just-released book of poetry which includes an exploration of the inner and outer markers of this ephemeral, elegant season, when nothing quite happens on a timetable.
"Ice Mountain: An Elegy", is poet and naturalist Dave Bonta's most recent work; you can read the publisher's review here. The setting in the northern mountaintops of Pennsylvania, USA, is illustrated by Elizaeth Adams, whose linocuts are in themselves a gift.
If you would like to enter the draw, please leave a comment saying you would like to participate by midnight (EST) March 5; I will publish the name drawn from a toque, and announce it on the blog on March 7. I will ask the winner to e-mail me with an address for postal delivery.
Digital editions are also available, but I still love to hold a beautiful book in my hands and thought you would, too.