One summer day when I was about eight years old, my cousin Trudy and I were jumping on a trampoline in her back yard. All around us was a very green, tidily mowed lawn. Trees in full whispering summer leaf stood at the periphery of the lawn, and above us gleamed a blue, blue Canadian sky. It was a happy moment for me, a little surreal, even. That’s because our cousin seemed so rich, with her store-bought clothes and auburn ringlets, her abundant toys, and this immense trampoline right in her own backyard. Then Uncle John, Trudy’s father, came home from his store, carrying a cloth bag that was tied at the top. Smiling, he untied the string and tossed the bag’s contents onto the trampoline–hundreds and hundreds of Canadian coins.
And as Trudy and I jumped on the trampoline, all around our feet, and up into the air around us flew hundreds and hundreds of maple leaves, voyageurs, beavers, moose, Queen Elizabeth, King George, and sailing ships, bouncing off the taut surface of the trampoline and onto the green lawn where they glinted between the blades of grass.