Thursday, March 18, 2010


So it seems that winter left early. Maybe it was because of Evacuation Day. I could have told it that it didn't have to evacuate the premises on the 17th. The day commemorates the British evacuation from Boston back in March of 1776! Too late. Gone. And since nature abhors a vacuum, spring moved on in. Three days of temps in the upper sixties.

I went for a walk yesterday around 3. First stop, Gail Ann's, the old coffee counter in the Center. Iced decaf. Harvest pumpkin muffin. Sitting outside at the folding table, being a representative of the Guy Sitting Outside of Café With Iced Coffee on a Balmy Day. Jotted down a few Observations in my Cahier. Then continued on my way, down to the woods at the foot of Mystic Lake, where I'd been "among the birds" early in the month. This time, all quiet. Then, an arrival. A large alighting and folding of big wings on a long branch. A red-tailed hawk, with prey. One foot on something grey and furry, a paw dangling, probably a squirrel. We watched each other. I left first.

On the way home, the warm afternoon did this thing time out of season does, like Indian Summer in November. KInd of dazes you. Like a half-remembered old tune, in the air. Passing these small sunlit houses. What song? Something sweet, like "Goodnight, My Someone". Had we really gone from travail to nostalgia in four days? Then a specific tune took over as I passed someone's front garden full of lily of the valley. "White coral bells upon a slender stalk..." A song my sister learned in camp and taught me.

New untimely pressure to get out, enjoy the day, gather the season, keep up. March?

I went back to the woods today, by bike this time. I had not an "among" moment, but a bona fide "with" moment. It was a goldfinch in a tree. I finally spotted it on a branch not far, maybe twenty feet, away. It was changing! Its head was yellow, a little black coming in, the rest of it still in winter drab. I sat down at the base of a tree opposite. And its trippy spiel was going on and on: "Whereas...and whereas...and whomsoever...and whereas...therefore, I hereby do help me...perchickoree (amen)."

Just that one goldfinch. A lucky recital. And then, a couple of postludes. A trilling junco. And another brief set from a Carolina wren (above), usually transliterated as, "Teakettle, teakettle, teakettle," but this time I heard "Jubilee, jubilee, jubilee."

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