Tuesday, December 10, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
I took a closer look.
It was a daffodil.
It had grown through a crack in the foundation -- where there is a good selection of fissures to consider -- and was reaching through the darkness created by the heavy bulkhead. It was making its stubborn, vital way toward sunlight that shimmered through a point nearby where a brick had broken and a rodent likely had mined diligently enough to weasel through.
Now the daffodil, too, had found the route and was traveling along it, protected from spring rain or a sudden late frost. It had a ways to go -- while others out-of-doors were already blooming -- but I thought it might flower by the time I was able to return again, in a few weeks, for another visit.
Nature is always conducting a reclamation project here at the edge of the bog. Ivy often grows behind the shingles and reappears indoors, at the edge of the door or window frame. I even saw it once come right up through the wall-to-wall rug as though the berber were a carpet of earth.
The spiders consider this dwelling their durable web, and they are always waiting for the turnover of the seasons. Next time I show up, the tiny brown "grease ants" also will have re-emerged along their usual path through the kitchen window, and I will have to figure out what treatment, if any, I will use as a weapon to wall my domicile from the world beyond the door.
Actually there's not much point, I know. If I really wanted to be liberated from these small eccentricities of natural exuberance intruding on my comfort, I would have chosen somewhere else to spend my free time.
As it is, without trying, I share in every shudder of the wild world that is just outside -- the cottontails like smooth rocks in the lawn at dusk, suddenly erupting into leaps and bounds that seldom carry them even out of range of the dog's lazy run or of my limited field of view. Fearing nothing for a moment, they quietly return to munching on the fresh-grown grass, soft as lettuce.
The phragmites bow, leaning toward the windows, as though peering in to see whether I plan to stay awhile. They are the fixtures here, though; I'm just blowing through. I am as fleeting as a fallen leaf, carried on other winds, elsewhere. I return when I can. They, in stark contrast, stand firm and nearly eternal.
They are the strong ones; they endure.
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