-3°C (26.6°F) The ducks are gone. The snow is here – maybe even enough to shovel. This is not your big, soft, fluffy snow, but a mean-spirited, spitting kind that drips down inside your collar. We must be turning the corner into a Minnesota spring!
A small flock of 2 or 3-dozen mallards has arrived. They circle several times and then land in a neighbor’s yard, two doors down. It’s early for them to be back, but maybe they’re just avoiding snow storms to the south. At a glance, they all appear to be male.
I like to watch them fly. They move so fast, so straight-like-arrows that I can hardly focus on them. Then suddenly they decide to descend, and they’re all wide-bottomed, splayed-foot awkwardness, tumbling out of the sky.
-7°C (19.4°F) I had to get up at 5:30 this morning because I couldn’t remember, for the life of me, if I had left one of our cats outside (I hadn’t). But then I was up, so I performed my usual litany of little chores: newspaper-getting, bird-feeder-filling, cat-litter-cleaning and fern-leafer-misting.
It’s always been one of my favorite times of day, before dawn. Quiet. Still. A time of preparation… of reflection… of clear-headedness before any of the troubles of the day rush in.
May 2nd: Asleep upstairs with the windows open for the first time in months, I was awake at five or six in the morning. The air was cool and wet. I put on blue striped trousers, a green wool sweater, and blue sneakers. Our dog chuckled in the kitchen, hearing, as I did, the birds, a thousand of them, and I opened the screen door and let us out. What I saw was the old red barn (with cows in it), the granary full of oats, the empty chicken coop, the machine sheds (with rusty parts lying around on the ground outside), the corncribs full of corn, and the pump house, pig barn, and silo, the brown brick house, hundreds of trees, the cow pasture, creek, low swamp, and dump, and beyond the trees, fields plowed last fall that smelled of pig and cow manure, and front and back roads, neighbors’ fields and woods, and clear sky.
I walked across the yard and sat on a big rock by the road. I heard the dog bark, four clear barks.FOUND PARADISE
Found paradise. I said I would and by God I have. Here it is, and it is just what I knew was here all along. Well, I guess that is about it. I’m happy to be here, is all.