Letters to Myself 10

Letters to Myself 10


216 Clydesdale Road


Nova Scotia

May 7th, 2016


Dear Johnny-Boy

Your last letter is the fifth one I have had from you. So I’m beginning to think this miracle isn’t going to end for a good few years. We’ve still got a long way to go before we “meet,” if that’s the right word, but we’re already a good bit closer since I got your first letter.

Today is Dorothy’s 69th birthday. She has decided to grow long hair, and I’ve only known her when her hair was very short, so it will be fun to see how it changes what she looks like. Anyway, each year for her birthday, I give her something for the garden. This time I bought a copper beech tree from our wonderful nursery (that word nursery can mean either where very small children sleep or where they grow garden plants. I suppose they are sort of connected, because plants are living things like us human beings). Over the next many years, it will grow into a beautiful tree with thousands of leaves that are a dark red, which is a sort of copper colour. I bought her one last year , too, so we will plant this new one close by it and quite near the road.

We still have Spring here, with something new coming out almost every day, most recently violets and peonies. Because our climate is quite a bit colder than Britain, we’re about two months behind in the garden. And there is a danger of frost at night right up into June, so nobody plants much outside till then. When I first came to live here, I didn’t realize this, and I started planting some flower and vegetable seeds in April. Nothing came up!

It was wonderful to remember that Latin prize you won. Yes, C.S. Lewis wrote seven books altogether about the same four children, all in the space of about five years! They were called “The Narnia Chronicles.” I always liked Aslan the lion best.  I think I read all of them in the end, and I’ve read some of them again as a grown-up. Nowadays I do a lot of writing, but probably read just as much. Dorothy and I have been trying to get rid of things in our house, but we still seem to always get more books!

It was great to hear about your boxing successes. It’s amazing, but I can still remember those bouts, and the excitement I felt. You may not believe this, but nowadays I’m a pacifist, which means I would never raise my fist to anyone. This goes back quite a long way, and I don’t know quite why I began to feel so strongly about it. But when I lived in America, and wanted to become a United States citizen, they refused me at first because I said I would never go to war as a soldier. I had to get a lawyer to help me before I could get the government to agree. So then I got an American passport, and now I have a Canadian passport, too.

I had better tell you a secret. When the Olympic games took place in London in 2012, there was a Canadian boxer fighting an English boxer, and I was cheering for the Canadian! The English guy won, but I think the Canadian was robbed. Anyway, that’s what happens when you are a citizen of more than one country—you don’t know who to cheer for!

Lots of love, and write soon!

xxx John