Saturday, May 14, 2011

stuff of memories

Law School graduation today. I remember my own, 32 [correction: 24! what was I thinking...] years ago. My tiny girls were there. I worried that they would last the evening and think it at least a little fun. I was proud, but not nearly as proud as when they then both went through their own law school graduations.

Today I could sit back and close my eyes (insofar as on the stage you can actually sit back and close your eyes) and think about how important these memories really are.

...At the same time that new memories form, nonstop. My older daughter, the one who was just six when I got my law degree, is now on the stage with me, congratulating graduating students – whew! And my littlest one, the girl who was just barely two when I graduated – she's now herself lawyering away in Chicago – oh my, memories are strong during the days of spring rituals and milestones.

And they’re strong at the farmhouse as well. It is such a cold and wet day – the worst of May weather, the stuff you have to put up with in the upper Midwest even as you count the minutes until it all passes and the sun comes out again.

But wait. It’s the middle of May. Aren’t the lilacs blooming yet?

They are.

DSC06902 - Version 2

Is there a person alive (I’m thinking in Madison or Poland) who does not have significant lilac memories?

My own – oh, there are so many! The earliest belong to my grandmother’s village house in Poland. Those purple and white fistfuls of buds! My grandmother would snip off twigs with the richest blooms and wrap them in newspaper – for us to take back to Warsaw when we left after a week-end visit.

That lilac smell! Lilacs and lilies of the valley. No set of fragrances could be more evocative. Unless it's the violets, sold on Warsaw street corners -- dainty little bouquets, tightly pulled together with a rubber band, stems decoratively wrapped with a strip of foil.

So, now the lilacs are starting their bloom at the farmhouse. I can’t take credit for planting them – so much around me is old. The bushes are big and strong and someone out there is probably carrying memories of their bloom with them.

And on the mouse front, you ask, how goes it there? Well, Isis still comes in for the occasional brief visit..


And, too, there's this: it's Saturday evening. Ed has fallen asleep on the floor, I'm working away. Then -- click. Click, click. And more violently -- click, click!

Ed, please wake up. We've caught a mouse. The trap's just around the corner. A mere six feet away.

It's raining.

Ed, a sleepy Ed,  is coming in from the release. I take out the old jar of peanut butter and scrape it, to lay a tad into the trap.

How about a little bit less? We're trying to trap it, not feed it, Ed comments.

The night is young. The trap is set again. A commenter wrote a minute ago -- you are aware, of course, that it is the same mouse? 
No, we've had at least two: one was a lightweight, one a clunker. And last night, the trap closed without a mouse to show for it. Tonight? A returnee? I don't know... There are so many mice out there... So many mice...