Leaf by Petal

Bit by bit, color rubs into our muddy world. My younger daughter remembers bulbs we planted, late last fall, and runs with her friend to find them: snow glories, grape hyacinths, the deep blue Siberian squills. Tiny clusters of emerging mysteries. Where, again, did we bury those knobby roots, and what will appear?

Out of school this week, my daughter and her friend switch back and forth between houses and parents, sometimes complaining there’s nothing to do, and almost immediately wandering away into one of their myriad projects.

Easter night, the peepers sang in profusion as the four girls and I walked down the dirt road in the dusk and then stood at the crossroads near a stand of old maples. In summer, tiny sparkles of birds often burst from their leafy branches in a radiance of soaring yellow. Rain began falling.

History, especially a family’s, is elusive, and memory is, as it is often said, a poor guide…. History is made in what appears to be at first glance mundane and ordinary ways. It’s written at kitchen tables and printed in the small boxes of calendar days… Sometimes in life it may seem as if nothing of consequence happens except the small acts of routine that occupy countless hours and ultimately frame our short lives. But I want you to know: Everything counts.

– Stephen L. Lyon, Landscape of the Heart: Writing on Daughters and Journeys, whom I discovered through his essay in Full Grown People


Hardwick, Vermont

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