winter garbage = springtime sculpture
near wakefield, quebec, canada.
every year at this time, there is a wonderful if fleeting event that takes place, a performance, a spectacle, an elegant extravaganza staged by mother nature...with a little help from her friends - human beings. not the delights of sugaring-off in the maple bush, rather it is the compelling and action-packed evolutionary process of sculptures being formed and appearing on the roadsides and in the ditches along highways, biways, country roads, and parking lots. in quebec, spring is a revealing time of year. all of the snow and ice that accumulated during the winter months starts to melt. the sun comes out, the temperature slowly rises, the light hangs in the sky a little longer, birds come back, dogs get horny and the garbage, the tim horton's coffee cups, the big mac boxes, diapers, underwear, kleenex boxes, all the junk that was tossed from car windows during the winter is gradually and subtly revealed and as the temperature heats up the garbage is put on a pedestal - a pedestal of ice. this occurs owing to the fact that the sun melts the ice except the area directly under the piece of garbage...the garbage blocks the sun, casts a shadow, acts as a parasol or umbrella so the ice under the garbage remains intact creating a pedestal-like pillar or column on which the piece of garbage sits with lofty grandeur. during the spring, every year, this event unfolds at an adagio pace. for an observer to appreciate this he/she must have patience, be attentive and hawk-eyed, for it is a challenging and dangerous proposition to drive and keep one eye focused off the road, on the side and in the ditches. however, with practice and as the years roll by, anyone can become a connaissor and afficionado of springtime roadside garbage sculpture. while it is true that what i am writing about is mere garbage on the roadside - a reminder of our selfish and careless human foibles - it is also true that for a short period of time in the spring, the side of the road becomes a sculpture garden with magnificent and dignified creations brought into being during the transition of seasons.