Tuesday, April 27, 2010

pair of swifts

Mist early, then pouring rain. At the conservation area this morning an old man, a regular, pauses. Something in the dead tree by the path has caught his attention. I know that he likes birds, he's told me. He strikes me as especially connected with nature. I am heading towards him and arrive at where he's standing. The tree is gray, petrified and expressive. It reminds me of the unusual implements Randy pointed out at his shop the other day, tall 18th century French wood pitchforks with long curved tines like fingers.

Good morning, I say. The old man gestures. He says, I've never seen them mate before. I look up at the tree. A pair of swifts flits together, joins, parts, joins again, the fleeting activity transpiring at a bare branch tip. A pair of swifts you and I. Lucky birds, I say. We laugh. I'm sure he knows what I mean.

I stop at the overlook. There's a thin mist and the river is still, silver with faint iridescent green from reflected fringes of trees (doubled in the water, upper and lower lashes). A bit later, the woods are a study in contrasts, psychedelic chartreuse against black earth and dark tangled bark. My walk awkwardly converges with that of a woman with her golden lab, whose loyalties for a moment split. He trails behind me as I trail behind her. It begins to rain and I don't have an umbrella. I don't have an umbrella because I carry hand weights and when I have the energy and believe no one's around, I go through various motions, lift the weights overhead, flap my arms like an angel, make little circles, jab right and left, etc. I'm getting wet and I want to lose the woman and her dog so when I reach the shortcut, a wide grass path that cuts through the middle of the park, I take it. My mind lands on despairing thoughts and I briefly sob, evidently startling a wild turkey. Ahead of me it bounds out of the overgrowth, runs up the path as fast as it can on its spindly legs, and takes flight. I didn't know that turkeys fly. The lumbering creature doesn't look airworthy, and it seems to have required the running start. I think it prefers the ground, but it does fly, taking off slowly like a heavy-loaded plane. At first opportunity it lands in the upper branches of a tree - the first tree it has reached.

Come home, clean up kitchen, make pastry dough and chop apples. Cozy morning for baking, aroma wafts upstairs. Fast forward to late afternoon. Have a piece of the crostata, long cooled. Go back to store, try on more jeans and buy a couple of pairs. Launder, put them on, scrutinize self before mirror. These are not "mom jeans." They're formfitting and emphasize curves. They fit well through the seat and legs but I need to lose more weight from my middle. I go for another walk, the long way down the creekside road, return by the shortcut trail behind the church. Roadside lilacs everywhere in bloom. The artist's lilacs from last week, in sugar water on my desk, still going strong. Sipping wine, finishing post. Cold tonight, snow showers maybe. D has laid a fire. What's for dinner? I'd better go find out. Thinking of you. Kisses.

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