Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woods Unshatterable

I think it was the twittering of birds outside the window this morning that sent me down this road. It put me in mind of the red-wing blackbirds that sing there in the cat-tails, and the call of the chickadees and knock of the woodpeckers in the tall pines in back of the house. Just that, and so many more glimmers are summoned up: the drone of the lawnmower up in the field, the creak of the wooden swing, the electric whir of cicadas, a cool damp breeze ruffling the leaves of the hostas, the scratch of the living room sofas, the dust motes dancing in the shards of light that come in by the diamond panes in front of the bookshelf in the late afternoon, root-beer floats and Rummikub, the crunch of a car coming up the gravel drive, Lincoln logs against the dark turquoise carpet in the boys’ room….

“Summertime, oh, summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable….”

E. B. White thought he was talking about his childhood in Maine, but really, he was talking about mine in Minnesota: my fade-proof lake, my woods unshatterable.

I think my heart would burst if I could be in Rosemount when the lilacs bloom.