March Books and Other Small Pleasures

I love spring.  It’s my favourite season.  I love watching the ground, the plants, the birds, the people come alive.  I love seeing what new sprouts are showing today, what new flowers have opened: this week there have been more crocuses, and the first daffodils (the little ones, Tête-a-Tête and Minnow, and a few of the normal-sized ones in the most protected south-facing wall-heated spots), and winter aconites with their ruff of green leaves like an Elizabethan courtier’s.  The snowdrops in the south exposures are mostly finished, the ones in cooler spots still blooming.

Yesterday I saw the first squill, possibly my favourite spring bulb; today I saw the very first periwinkle blooms, just a couple of them in one person’s garden.  The hyacinths are pushing up buds, and the roses are starting to open their buds into leaves, as are the raspberries in the alley.  The elms are starting to flower, the maples are budding red.  And underneath the balconies of my friend’s apartment building are tiny yellow pansies, which I’m guessing are self-seeded from window baskets several stories up.

There are plenty of other pleasures: the bright colours of Halifax houses in the sunlight today, the people (roller) skating on the now-dry oval in the Commons, the parents teaching their children how to ride bicycles.  Dogs sniffing the air gladly, people walking along grinning for the weather.  The two homeless guys on the Commons who asked me why I was carrying a palm (it’s Palm Sunday) and then thanked me for stopping to talk to them.  The feel of the palm in my hands, smooth and bouncy, with thin fibres unweaving into tendrils from the one that wasn’t made into a cross shape.  The primroses in pots in my living room.  My new bed.  My clean apartment.

And, of course, good books.  These are the ones I finished this month:

The Harrowsmith Reader III

Crops in Pots — Bob Purnell

*Selected writings by Albert Einstein

The Tales of Beedle the Bard — J.K. Rowling

At the Water’s Edge — Philip Swindells

Selections from The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer

*On the Genealogy of Morals (essays 1 and 3), Friedrich Nietzsche

*Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

*Diary and Letters of Kaethe Kollwitz, selections

*The Racial Contract, selections — Charles Mills

*The Waste Land and Other Poems — T.S. Eliot

*Selections from the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein

Common Sense Forestry, Hans Morsbach

Independence Days, Sharon Astyk

*What is Metaphysics? — Heidegger

*Stories, by Jorge Luis Borges

*Selections from The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

Farming for Self-Sufficiency, John and Sally Seymour

Holes, Louis Sachar

*What is Enlightenment?– Immanuel Kant

*What is Enlightenment? — Michel Foucault

Selections, Luce Irigaray

*Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

More, Max Beerbohm

*Biology and Ideology, Lewontin

Nasty, Brutish, and Short, Pat Senson

Going Postal, Terry Pratchett

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