In the little town where I live, as with small towns everywhere, things unfold at the slower, more measured pace. The town newspaper is published only once a week, so I get most of my daily news from one of two sources. For the up-to-the minute weather and storm reports, I watch the Detroit station on my dish, and for all the local civic news, there’s the website for the town’s radio station. But nothing much ever happens; there’s meetings about this project or that proposal, the latest teenage stunts, the regional team scores... So imagine my surprise when I read yesterday that when Vancouver, B.C. hosts the 2010 winter Olympic Games, and the torch crosses Canada, one of the stops it will make along the way will be at Point Pelee National Park. How cool is that! The road in front of my house leads directly to the park gate, only a couple of kms away. There’s no way you can drive into the park without going right by my place. I immediately envisioned how it might be, with everyone out of their houses and lining the road (no sidewalks here), media trucks back and forth, people from surrounding farms and the marina coming here to be part of the historic event. At least I hope that’s how it will be. The torch will make the rounds to a number of small towns and cities here in southwestern Ontario, but what makes Point Pelee special is its ecology and geography. Point Pelee (French for “bare point” because of the sand spit at the tip that extends into Lake Erie) is the southern most part of mainland Canada. At approximately the 42 parallel, it has much more moderate temperatures in winter, and is an important remnant of the once-vast Carolinian forest, with many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Point Pelee is world famous as a destination spot for birdwatching because it’s location makes it the first landfall for huge numbers of northerly migrating birds crossing the Lake each spring. Over 360 species have been found there so far. And in the fall, it’s a congregation point for Monarch butterflies heading south to Mexico. I’m not at all surprised that it’s been included on the torch journey. I hope they go right to the end of the tip and dip a toe in Lake Erie. I’ll get back to you on this in a couple of years.
Top photo at www.cbc.ca Bottom photo at virtualtourist.com
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.