When I tell people that I live in Boyle Street, they often look a little surprised, even concerned. Yes, some pockets are rough, but some pockets are gold. Maybe it’s because many people here have next to nothing that they make the most of the little they have, why some boulevards, tiny porches and postage-stamp front yards are jam-packed with blooms this time of year. Why people grow marigolds and red poppies right up against 107A Avenue, merry-making of the traffic and the concrete that flows past everyday.
We are entering the season of harvests. Irish Folklorist, Máire MacNeil, in her tome, The Festival of Lughnasa, relates an old man’s account of a harvest fair held in Lehinch (pronounced la hinge) on the first Sunday in August. He recounts that the fair was full of “tricksters”: musicians, dancers, flame eaters, card sharks, gypsies, young men going from public house to public house, young women in ritual at the well of Liscannor, horse racing along “the strand” and noise everywhere.
Think of Boyle Street like one continuous harvest festival. Indeed the whole city at this time of year. Full of tricksters and buskers and the bottle pickers on the backlanes heading for festival after festival, that all in some way celebrate the gift of the sun and the land and the growing of things.
Publishing, too, is full of twists and turns, and my experience no different, full of last minute hitches and hiccups and near snafus. But the book is safely off to the printer at last. I hope you will help me celebrate this harvest of mine: I’ll be launching The Glorious Mysteries and Other Stories in September in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary, Camrose and Lethbridge. Watch for a note with full details later in the month.
For now, you are invited to the Edmonton launch:
Where: Audrey’s Books, 10702 Jasper Avenue
When: 7:00 p.m., Thursday, September 26
What: Reading and refreshments
Everyone is welcome. But to help with planning, please RSVP by replying to this email.
Meanwhile, I hope you will engage in some tricks and shenanigans of your own this harvest season.