Total Pageviews

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Purdy Day, 2014

I sometimes think how incredibly lucky I am, as one who loves Al Purdy's work, to live so close to Eurithe and Al's A-frame home, and to the places that inspired his poetry and live on in his prose. Yesterday was Purdy Day, 14 years to the day since Al died. Al puts it more poetically, in words that Eurithe selected for his iconic black granite book-shaped stone:

"This is where I came to
when my body left it body
and my spirit stayed
in its spirit home".

Michele left pansies 
I blogged about last year's coolish Purdy Day. We wandered around Grove cemetery, the millpond, the house and property, surprised a great blue heron on the point.

Yesterday was a kinder and gentler day. I spent two lovely sunny hours, propped up against Owen Roblin's gravestone, reading Al's long poem 'In Search of Owen Roblin'. I loved being able to do that - to read Al's words about ancestors and early A'burg history, occasionally glancing up to see the very gravestones across the sunny slope.

It meant a lot to be able to look down toward the millpond's edge to that shiny book-shaped marker, which will always remind us that a great poet lived here - and wandered in despair, believing himself a failure, in early days.

All watch  a huge blue heron explore the shorelines of the millpond, wander the old Valley Road beside the graveyard fence, listen to a grieving widower who brought yellow flowers to his wife's new grave.

That's why the A-frame people have held onto Jean Baird's compelling vision of saving the A-frame property and its legacy. There may not be many folks in Ameliasburgh Ontario who know, or even care. But there are countless readers and writers worldwide for whom this spot will always be important.

Michele left pansies
This year, the spot is even more evocative -  Al and Eurithe's son Jim was laid to rest here in the summer. And in that practical way that practical folks have, Eurithe had her name engraved at the same time.

I found a yellow flower

old Valley Road - Grove Cemetery

'my' John Reeves photo - from the PurdyShow silent auction

No comments:

Post a Comment