I am reporting from our white wicker porch swing to the tune of its creaking chains and the first songs of the crickets’ spring soiree. The nights are still cool, and I’m wrapped up in a green woolen blanket, the sky is bluely darkening and turning translucent, the lamplight spilling across the street is tingeing the spring-green leaves with gold, and it smells like night.
A few moments ago, Bex popped out onto the porch with three tubes of toothpaste inquiring which I claimed, for they were organizing the bathroom “instead of going out to party;” and awhile before that, a little old man in a green cap strolled by on the sidewalk. We tossed hullos across the yard, and after he passed, he looked back once more over his shoulder. I was still smiling faintly after him, and he smiled, too, though sheepish at being caught. I’ve never seen him before–which is odd, because we’ve been here long enough to recognize so many of the people who stroll and bicycle by, and he had the slow, careless air of a regular.
I love the way the tall pine tree across the street stands up darkly against the evening sky. It reminds me of a lone pine standing up in the middle of a Minnesotan cornfield I once knew, a black sentinel against a rose-red sunset on the distant horizon.
The days are passing quietly enough here. Yesterday, though, a basket of petunias from Grace’s parents, that had been hanging quietly and well-behavedly from a porch-hook ever since its arrival two weeks ago, suddenly and inexplicably fell twice in one afternoon; and the second time, the pot cracked.
I’ve taken to living out in the garden. . .I’ll spare the lengthy enumeration of my plantings, though, for rumor has it that it’s already contained in an entry Bex is working on for this journal… But I will say that my grandmother sent me a box good old Minnesotan dirt in the mail, and next to our shed I’ve put the descendant-root shoots of a snowball bush that once lived on my great-grandfather’s farm. And three of my grandpa’s hostas have been transplanted into our side garden. I can remember, as a little girl, watching him carefully dig up and split hosta plants before bedding them back down; the way he firmed the soil around them and sculpted a well around each plant came back to me, and I found my small, white hands doing what his stocky, tanned and weathered ones once did.
There was some catalyst in the past five minutes that cleared the ceiling of the sky, and even from our porch, bathed as it is in pinkish-yellow light from the streetlamp, I can see stars twinkling.
Reader, you’re here. Across the porch, our rocker is gently rocking, and I think it must be you.