I unlocked the elementary school yesterday morning when the day was yet in that black-turning-blue phase of dawn. I was there to get the coffee going for that venerable New England tradition, pie breakfast. Allow me to brag for a moment about my town. With a population of 902 (including newborns), nearly 200 pies appeared in the school kitchen, carefully wrapped, many warm from home ovens.
Pie Breakfast is a hustling sweet-and-savory morning, bursting with conversation, live music, laughter, lots of kids. The most welcome melody I heard, though, was the red-wing blackbirds in the white pines below the library. My booksale volunteers and I stood on the icy pavement in the brilliant March sunlight, surrounded by two feet of sparkling snow, listening to the first harbinger of migration’s return, the promise of spring, the full-throated song of mating.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all…
– Emily Dickinson