Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Once again the rains are with us. I mention this because the world around me is so soggy right now that you can't just brush aside this seemingly inconsequential weather event. Don't mock me for my words, come February, but the outside world is too green! We need sunshine to bring back a wider palate of colors.

As if to add emphasis to my point, when I go about fixing breakfast, I hear a loud crackle outside. Our sensitivities being what they are, I immediately think someone is shooting at our chickens. They come running toward the farmhouse, feathers flying. Then comes the crash and I know that we have another felled limb on the old willow tree by the orchard. I tell Ed that I'm waiting for the day when the other willow, the one that gives shade to our parked cars throws down a branch on their roofs. For now, we have one chunk of tree for him to chop up and throw onto the wood pile.

Because it is so wet, the construction crews are taking a day off. We're not totally without their bother: there is a puttering hum of an engine that appears to be pumping water from one of the ditches dug to the east of us. With that, the wind is blowing the distinct smell of diesel fuel. One engine, quite a way away and yet we smell it. We've grown used to cleaner air. 

This is what we grew up with in the cities of our childhood, Ed comments.
The smell reminds me of Poland -- I add. Tractors, trucks accelerating on rural roads -- all commonly powered by diesel. Poland still suffers from poor air quality, but it's not diesel that you likely to smell on the peripheries of big cities there right now -- it's coal and the burning of wood. You don't appreciate your good air until you travel through a place where regulations are less stringent and enforcement is lax.

Still, we eat breakfast on the porch. One relatively quiet engine somewhere in the distance is not going to put us off.

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I walk the gardens, picking a few weeds along the way, understanding that this wont do, that I must spend more time propping long stems and pulling the inevitable seedlings and grasses that grow after each new rainfall.

But not today. Let's just admire the emergent (wet!) day lilies!

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And, too, the true lilies:

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Toward the close of the morning, I go to visit Sparrow. To the delight of all family members, you can now catch him (inadvertently) smiling, especially at nap times.

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Yes, yes, he does have plenty of wakeful times.

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But at this moment, in his second week of life, he is still in his sleepy mode, at least until evening, at which time he deems himself to be stressed by the day's excesses and is in need of more attention. As is his sister, who comes home right about then. Now isn't that the picture of every young family's evening life?

My afternoon is, of course, spent with Snowdrop. She is adjusting terrifically to the presence of a baby brother at home, but she enjoys, too, her hours at the farmhouse, where she is still in completely control of her play time.

Today, she is back at the table working at her art.

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And eventually, she turns to music. First, she bangs out her stories to the sounds of the xylophone...

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Then she asks for the guitar. I play, then she plays...

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... and then I play once more. I make up the lyrics to suit her recent interests while she dances. And dances. Until her dad comes to pick her up.

For us, of course, the evening is quiet. Unlike young children, we deal with any stresses or excesses by settling into familiar routines and predictable patterns. I write posts, Ed reads. On good days, we can stay awake long enough to watch a show afterwards, or a movie. The day will end for me with a few pages of a current book. You could not structure a more serene set of moments.  But always, the mind wanders just a bit: what are they up to, these wee little ones? Are they sleeping? Are their parents exhaling yet?

Goodnight little ones, older ones, good night, good night. May the night bring sweet dreams and the well earned peace to all.