Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Once, this life of observation

There were deer across the meadow at dusk tonight. They were in the far pasture, and all I could really see of them was the flick of their white tails. My dad said the morning after my grandmother died he saw a single mourning dove on the feeder--they almost always travel in pairs. My sister warned her girls and Edith to stay away from the edge of the woods near the old pump because there is a fox den there--I didn't know they were still ensconced there. Fox pups used to come out and play with our dogs in the early morning hours when I was in high school. I saw a flock of 40 or more robins, both male and female before my grandmother died--that was the first bird she taught me to identify. When we were living at our old house in Richmond, there were robins nests everywhere. We'd find the pale blue egg shells on the ground regularly in the spring. It's an odd blue--very pale, but with a hint of the palest green in it--not exactly sky blue, not exactly pale blue. A wintry color that breaks open to a white interior, as white as can be. The inside of the shell is never blue. Snakes in the stone wall at the farm--I know I've seen garter snakes that are 5 or 6 feet long or more--the guide at the ECHO center yesterday said they usually grew to be about 3 feet long, but I found that hard to believe. Unless I'm mixing them up with black snakes, which are 6 to 7 feet long. Or I am a liar. Or I was small and the snake seemed large. I feel I can remember one, a black snake, moving across the meadow, large enough to see. Tall meadow grass bent back in ovals, flattened, where deer slept.

There's no point to any of these random memories about nature this evening. Just the sense that, once, I lived this life of observation. Once I saw and did not speak.

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