Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm Still Here!

Winter is fighting to keep a toehold on our landscape as long as it can. There's still a good six inches of ice-covered snow on the yard, though where a path was shoveled and wherever a tree is growing, the snow has receded, baring patches of wet earth and last year's dead grasses. A last (one hopes!) winter storm is due Tuesday over Wednesday and then temperatures will soar into the 60s.

Snowdrops are blooming on the south side of the house and the first of the daffodil leaves are emerging at the end of the drain spout. Once the snow has disappeared the bluebells will bloom in profusion, followed by tulips, hyacinth, and masses of daffodils. I can get drunk on flowers just by walking out my front door. Along the roadsides the leafless coltsfoot will appear and soon the meadows will be dotted with dandelions. The air will be sweet and warm and I will be out of doors from dawn till dusk!

I am still caring for the granddaughters three days a week. The Bean is 3-1/2, in pre-school and can point out all the continents on the big map pinned to the dining room wall, count to twenty, and write her name legibly. She sings when she plays and makes up scenarios for her dolls in which she changes voices. Baby Lily is now a toddler, learning to string words together to make sentences and is constantly on the move. The only time she sits quietly is when she is tired and wants to read. She loves books, just like her Nini. To be such an intimate part of their growing up is a gift I open every day.

My blogging and reading of blogs has taken a back seat and for that I am sorry. A multitude of errands and sheer weariness often keep me away from the computer when I'm here at the cottage. I know you are all out there living and writing about your lives and I miss the contact. But, summer is coming, and school vacations for both grands and my daughter. I shall catch up with you all then!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday Prompts

Two works written in response to this Sunday's prompts: "it would be fine if..." inspired by a poem called It Would Be Fine by Rosemary Starace, and "art."

If, And, Or

It would be fine
if I walked out the door tomorrow
and became a tree
the tall, sturdy kind
with its roots grown deep
and its head in the clouds
branches outflung, tender-tipped with buds
that would become leaves
that would become producers of oxygen
that I could breathe in if I didn’t become
a tree,

if, instead, I became a bird
that might alight on my hand
if I stretched it out like a tree branch,
if I could be bird, and branch and hand
and breathe
it would be fine.

If I could be a cloud
that sails the blue sea of the sky,
that plies the ground with rain;
if I could be the wind
that moves the cloud
if I could shine down, shine on, shine through,
be a sun of benevolence,
a sun of vast light,
a sun of strident heat,
it would be fine
if I pulled the fallen rain up
to fill another cloud

that might water a tree
which I might become
when I walk out the door tomorrow.

Seasonal Art

On the mat by the door
the winter boots wait—
a welter of rubber and suede and felt,
one small blue boot
tipped over like an abandoned boat
left to wait for the tide.

A jumble of footwear
made into art by disuse,
a hodge-podge of color,
and fabric, and shape,
a still life until
it snows.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Signs and Portents

If you look out the window with winter eyes you'll see snow that's still over a foot deep in places. Dozens of small birds huddle about the feeder and the sky above the horizon is the color of ice. But if you go out of doors at noon and listen, you can hear sounds of spring. The sunshine is melting the snow on the roof and the ice on the pond.

Spring is the sound of running water.
Squirrels are frenzied at this time of year. They chase each other up and down trees, sprinting after one another across the frozen yard. Birds are tentatively singing tunes rather than merely calling out. Squirrel chatter and bird song are signs of spring.

Before the cold forced them into dormancy, trees and bushes set next year's buds. Now the sun cradles them in warm hands, setting their quiet inner fire aglow. The sap is rising in the trees, too - around every trunk and sapling and bush is a ring of visible earth where the heat of renewed life has melted the snow.

Even the smallest withes generate heat.

Winter may still snarl and bare its teeth but it is being forced to retreat. Though pussy willows are not yet in evidence nor will there be snowdrops or crocus for some time, a month from now we will see the ground again; two months and the grass will be green. Winter eyes won't serve you much longer.

Waiting lilac buds.

Saturday, March 01, 2014


Ducks returning to the pond

March is the month
of smoke and mirrors,
all those grey skies,
those dancing flakes on
violent winds,
pond middles still iced in.
But oh, don’t be deceived.
There is light in the sky until
evening now, and warmth
in the noontime sun.
Spring’s magic hat spills birds
into the morning and they sing
of April.