Today I learned that trees experience jet lag--something having to do with their circadian (not cicadian) clocks. So they must have been dismayed to have this precocious warm spell in March stir the sap, wake up the cells, pop the blossoms maybe three weeks ahead of schedule. (Think about something unattractive! Dogs peeing on your trunk! An ice storm! Pileated woodpeckers! Too late.) And now the florets, those yellow-green flower clusters in maples, expecting May, find a cold April. What's going on? Don't you know never to wake the bear before hibernation is over?
It's Passover. This has some metaphoric contribution to make, too. Unrisen bread? No, prematurely riz. The Exodus happening while it is still raining frogs? (Elijah mutters in my ear: Enough already. You don't have to be the wise child all the time.)
Fine: let spring figure it out.
I was biking up Broadway the other day, thinking about a dream I had. A travel dream, of course—80% of my dreams are—but a lucky one. In a pocket I discovered an airline ticket I'd forgotten about. The flight was leaving in a few hours for New Zealand, Singapore, somewhere in Africa. But how could I go? Shirking my responsibilities, not telling my family, plus all I had for money was a bank card for which my account (somewhere in Canada) was frozen. A recurring dream obstacle. Too much reality for the fantasy. So I sabotaged the dream: looking more closely at the ticket, I noticed that is was actually dated yesterday. Off the hook.
"No adventure in my life," I thought to myself, pedalling uphill.
A moment later, from the street, some guy who sounded around my age called: "Slow and steady wins the race!"
Not exactly refudiating my thought, more like offering sympathy: Slowing down, aren't we, Brother Tortoise?
"You bet!" I called back to my unseen encourager, weighting it with a pinch of grimness, to match his pinch of rue.
But the coincidence, the Capra-esque goodwill of a stranger, couldn't help but carom off my no-adventure thought, knocking it sideways.
A newsreel-like title formed in my mind, maybe a tad ironic, but block-lettered and self-assured all the same: ADVENTURES IN WRITING!
Can't redeem your ticket to New Zealand? Can't access your funds in a Montreal bank? Take your journey here! Our slogan: "More Reliable Than A Dream."
I present my bank card to the guard at the turnstile. I recognize her from previous encounters: bored, not unfriendly, dispenser of foreign currency and postcards. She inserts the card into some ancient piece of technology. A green light winks on. Sufficient funding, all's well. I am waved in. Welcome to Pyoltergantz. You must wisit our Museum and take jitney to the Wetlands of the Seven Martyrs where dwells the rare Magnificent Blue Owl.
Perhaps. Or perhaps not. I might just settle for a white-throated sparrow in the bush going "old Sam Peabody-Peabody-Peabody" and a tall Easter Bunny waving at motorists from the drive-in of a car wash. It's a job.