You'd be right in thinking that I am including this photo of Tiny a little gratuitously. (See the artistic contrast of grubby boy with fresh picked flower?) It really has little to do with the topic of today's post.
Except if you look in the top righthand corner.
These wild violets represent my first real foray into foraging in Canada. Sure there was once an idyllic afternoon spent picking plump blueberries in an overgrown graveyard in Salvage, Newfoundland. But, really, that's almost the stuff of gothic romance novels, not real life. No, no, in real life you stumble across a reference to violet jam while avoiding your real work and then begin to wonder whether this could bridge a gap between real work and, well, something more necessary. Like poetry. Or beauty. Serendipity. Goodness.
A little research later (more avoiding of real work), and it was confirmed. The little purple flowers that compete for space between grass, dandelions, and clover in our backyard, are, indeed, wild violets.
Our early spring crop was not going to yield the two cups required of jam, and so the search began. It will be a while before I can look at green patches—city parks, sidewalk verges, cracks in the pavement—without searching for little pops of purple. However, on an evening walk by the river, we found them—carpeting, flowing, filling, growing—growing, growing everywhere. You can almost imagine it. I should have been in a flowing white dress with a basket.
Of course, I wasn't. (That's what happens when poetry goes on in real life. Instead, I was dressed as I was with a dog puppet expertly tucked under one arm, an actual dog tramping and trundling, and a blue bowl, too small for the task at hand.)
You do what you can with poetry.
While jam seems inevitable at this point, it was not to be. The pesky matter of a sign claiming they (curse them) would be spraying pesticides for Japanese knotweed, was just ambiguous enough to bring doubt as to time and place. Those beautiful, abundant violets were, necessarily, abandoned.
But not so the plans for jam. A few days of foraging fields (soccer), front yards (other people's), and backyards (our own) and we were back in business.
Et, voilà! Or should I say, And, Violets! (Jam, that is).
Worth it, don't you think?