My cat is outside leaping from roof to roof, ruckling up trouble with the nesting birds. A crow just swooped beak-down at her, and a starling is in the neighbor's cherry tree sounding a harsh alarm. The cat — Lucy — well, she's in her version of heaven, all bright-eyed and invigorated with feline youth. Now, if I was to leap from roof to roof, it'd be a different story....
I came home from work today and immediately went out to plant my tomatoes, which involved spading a garden bed and pulling out handfuls of insidious bindweed roots. It's not quite warm consistently yet, but after several days of dramatic intermittent hail and rain, the skies cleared long enough to play in the dirt without getting soaked.
Lots of worms.
I moved my fire pit two feet north.
(I garden by the square inch.)
It's been a good ten years since I worked earnestly and with passionate intent in this yard, and an entire adult lifetime since I experienced the level of peace that I enjoyed this evening, dirt under my fingernails and twigs caught in my hair.
As a child, I groomed the woods behind my house, kept the paths free of nettles, named the trees. I knew where tiger lilies bloomed in June (a secret glade, accessible by no path), knew where salal grew waist-high and rustled-up a chorus when I ran through it. I knew which trees were best for robins' nests. Knew how a fiddlehead fern unfurled from the leafy underbrush. Knew how the sun dappled my face when I lay beneath the ferns.
I didn't want to come in tonight, so I compromised and left the back door open, and dug out some old sheet music, and played Chopin while the spiraling dusk-song of robins accompanied my modest key-work.
It was good to be home.
It was good to be alone.