Notes from No-man’s Land, Week 4
Today I try to walk my road again toward the lake at daybreak, at least part way. My energy level remains low, my spirit in high gear.
I am greeted at the door by moist clay pots bursting with “Mexican Red” geraniums up and down the wooden steps, the work of my partner Jude, who sees to it that color return to this place in the woods, window boxes, deck, garden, after a season of winter white. She makes the house sing in spring.
I am reeling in images of RED, RED, RED GERANIUMS… remembering mornings in Mexico, New Mexico, a sun-drenched landscape almost surreal.
The air is cool still, with a hint of mist, humidity waiting for mid-day.
I take the last step down, touch the good earth, one foot at a time in the brilliant green grass…pause briefly in the yard…inhaling, bathing, showering, swallowing, gasping, drinking in the air saturated with the fragrance of three old lilac bushes.
Drunk again in lilac-time…can’t get enough…give me more, more, more…hang in there, please, yet another day…deep purple, lavender, white…too soon, too soon the lilac light swoon dissipates into the thickness of summer.
The road greets me with the first rays of morning sun. I step into it, onto it, away …past my green woods, my coop, waiting for me, tucked deep old trees, hidden amongst the maples, beech, and birch at this time of year.
Bird song: a chorus of robins, one squawky blue jay, a wren, my early morning woodpecker drumming up the sunrise. Clouds of the bluest forget-met-nots running alongside me in the roadside ditch…a few trillium still trumpeting their white presence…and ah, ah, the sweet smell of wild clover. But no sign yet of the prairie rose, a particular favorite…
I make it to the old garden, pause awhile, remember seedlings sprouting, the rows of vegetables…the agony and ecstasy of growing anything in this northern clime of stony earth…the garden gone back to weeds and wild flowers…no longer tilled by me, worked over and into spring, summer, fall… religiously, lovingly, by the woman once my wife, mother of our two grown, beautiful children living their own lives far from here…the marriage ended amicably, gone our separate ways almost ten years now. I see her bent over in the garden still, attending each growing plant…miss the snap beans, green beans, potatoes, lettuce, kohlrabi, beets, squash, green peppers, egg plant…and oh so fresh, red sweet tomatoes.
Crossing to the other side of the road at the end of the garden, under the shade of a towering old maple…I resume my inspection of the ditch for any evidence of blushing pink prairie rose…check the progress of two grand sweeps of tiger lilies that grace my morning walks in season…discover them still reaching, thrusting toward blossom.
The sun behind me, lighting my way back home, I walk slowly into my own shadow, moving us both into another day.