A quotable client

Outside a client’s house, the yard consisted of dirt, cement and a dog on a tie-out chain.

Friendly-looking for a pitbull, his tail was wagging and he smiled as I approached to pet him. Ever the cautious dog lover, I asked my client if he was friendly?

“Oh he’s friendly, but not like that.”


That has me laughing, still, a week later.


Books say improbable things about Bloodroot like that it blooms in colonies and that its seeds are spread around the forest by ants.

If the ants were doing their job, Bloodroot would be easier to find. The woods would be carpeted with it, like they are with Spring Beauties and Squill, now.

As it is, I have to get my knees muddy searching for it. If the forest faeries are feeling a need for amusement, they’ll send a couple teenagers along the path to find me butt-up and nose-down in the shady leaf mold.

Pride and decorum be damned, there’s only so many spring days to find Bloodroot. I’m glad to have enjoyed it for another year.

Celebrating spring

I feasted on some familiar delights today… daffs and crocus and forsythia, a beginner’s yoga class that left me feeling competent for a change (!), a longish walk with Luka past the neighborhood raspberry fields with their huge clump of purple hyacinths blooming right in the middle, the soft fur on Boomer’s cheek with his big ears drooping to meet my fingers, the local osprey pair rebuilding their cell tower nest after it was removed this past winter, newly arrived great egrets stalking the creek at low-tide… all brought a comfortable smile to my face.

How did you celebrate this day?

Of salt, in gray

Spring days used to always smell like this. Of seaweed-tangled mussels at low tide. Of cat-tail smoke and creosoted piers. Of salt.

And beyond the ticky-tack of the boardwalk, I’d wander the dunes until sunset. Blanket in hand, I’d crawl across the sand to lie in the sun’s last rays where seagulls circled and circled overhead.

Returning to the faces that had worried away the afternoon, I’d offer up the day’s harvest of sea glass, fingers aching with grit and salt, forgiven for not being lost.

But I was lost. Wandering after whatever it was in the cool spring air that made the gulls call to me, joyfully following their shallow tracks in sand and sky. Something… there was so much I wanted then. I didn’t know what, only that when most alone, under the guise of beach walking, silence would tell me what I listened for.

I’m still wandering into spring afternoons after old scents and old sounds; as if one could open the past for me and let me find the girl that wanders there.

Today I thought about salt and how my life could be clean and simple if I reduce it all to salt; how I’ll be able to talk to someone without going from pure joy to silence. And touch someone without going from truth to concealment. Salt is the only thing that lasts here at the shore. It gets into everything, your hair, eyes, clothes.

I like to think of myself turned to salt and all that I love turned to salt. To think of walking down to the beach, stepping on the backs of a million dead clams and how gray can be so beautiful. How if you aren’t careful, you can just walk right into that alluring current and imagine what lies in a horizon you never knew was there, where the gray from the sky and the gray from the sea meet. Looking over the Atlantic at the edge of the continent, you can see all this crashing at your feet in cold rich foam, in salt, in gray.

First beauty

“April can be lovely, spangled with bloom and the newest of young leaves. It can be, and usually is, melodied with the voice of song sparrow and robin, redwing and oriole. And the call of the Spring peeper is the very voice of April. But April can also be cold rain, raw wind and, on occasion, snow. The cruelest aspect of April’s tantrums, however, lies in the way it sometimes frosts our hopes and expectations. We want to believe in that myth of gentle April. We want May in April. We are tired of Winter’s cold leftovers. Given a taste of Spring in April, we want a full meal of it.” –Hal Borland

Today was a lovely taste of Spring on an early April day.