Wednesday, December 11, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
Paradise is a garden, after all, a wild one to start and only managed when the flawed tiller arrives on the scene. My own is a lawn with mounds of idly raked leaves and then a thicket beyond, utterly untended and unspeakably perfect in its ordered disarray of interdependent life.
I notice this spring that two large logs rolled themselves out of the forest and onto the lawn over the winter, in the same way certain rocks will jut out of earth like field potatoes, pressed to the surface by a late freeze. The devoted phoebe, too, has moved, selecting a location different from last year's but still nearby, returning at least to the "property" -- though, mercifully, she knows no such concept in her nesting world, only another eave, available and partly hidden, partly private.
She and I, it is reassuring to note, are looking for the very same thing: a familiar landscape that feels like a new address. She picks a place near the roof of the lean-to and prepares for young. I choose to rearrange the furniture, start a quilt that could not be pieced together while the dulled fingers of winter had me in their grip, scour the storeroom for paint brushes and mull over home improvements.
It's a passing instinct, as brief as sudden spring flowers or vernal pools. Pretty soon we will quit the house altogether for the out-of-doors, flee the woodlands for the shore. But for now, the luminous colors of migration hurrying in and on or a fortnight of graceful flowers are a measure of time's passing that carries grace and joy in equal measure,
No cold hearts live here, only the pulse of life rekindled and renewed. I could hold unmoving and taut as an intent doe, listening, right here, on the edge of forever. I could name this my heaven. But now that the sun has announced itself and sunsets are as late and muted as fashionable formal dinners, there is the whole newly outfitted world to visit. There is still too much to do, and the time, at length, is right.
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