Posted by: Peadar Ban | June 7, 2019

The One I Couldn’t Land, The Bloom Unfolded

I often think about the past, and these days I have more time to do so, and more past to think about, too. But that isn’t the case with the little bit of thinking I did yesterday evening as the sun was packing up to leave. Or was it. You be the judge.

There are a number of very nice places to think in, and think about almost everything. It was quiet there, in the back of the house away from the muted racket from the highway a mile or so, a hill or so away, going home makes.

And, that always makes time for thinking. Years ago, thinking was mostly about the future and hope; what it would be like, and how I might help in making it so. Now, it is different; kind of like pulling the albums down and thumbing through the pages pausing every so often. And so I did.

Along the way my reverie was interrupted by the comings and goings of a young couple in the trees, and their dealing with their own present, and future. My wife, Mariellen and I were pleased and puzzled by what they were doing. Was it courting, or something else; and just who they were. They were new to the neighborhood, not like the folks we had grown used to. and watching and wondering about new neighbors, and who they are, and what will come is only natural. It is also very entertaining.

Don’t you think so?

But, they went away into the tangle, and were quiet. We preferred to leave them to themselves and hope.

This morning, after I made the bed I opened the windows in the bedroom. all the world seemed very quiet outside, and still. The clock on the wall has just told me it is eight o’clock in the morning. Around me quiet is the order of the day. The river, about a hundred feet away, and down a small hill is mirror flat and still as it was yesterday. I know fish live beneath in the water, small mouth bass and carp, and others I have never caught when I caught fish long, long ago. Caught them with my friend Christopher before he died. I caught them with my son, Andrew, too, before he left me. And, I caught them with my wife, Sheila, before she died.

Mariellen, to whom I am married now, with Sheila’s blessing, does not fish. She gardens, and I help, though I can garden, too; and have. But Mariellen and I have different styles. She almost paints with flowers, impressionist landscapes of color and form, that bring their light and beauty into shape from one place to another through the season; like Christmas lights in the window, in the park, turning on and off in windows, around doors, up and down the avenues in some kind of “light music”.

I got fascinated with rocks long ago; rocks to climb on, or imagine being climbed on; fairy tale and fiction places to contemplate other worlds among. My contribution to the garden then is in that form; big rocks and small ones among the color Mariellen splashes across our miniature landscape. Oh, I also dig holes and fill them in. Strong foundations, you know. And, room for roots to spread

Garden making is a lot like fishing, I think. After the work is done, the earth prepared, turned and enriched, the planning done, or tried and re-done; the seeds and young plants from the nursery planted and watered, the waiting begins. So with fishing don’t you know. There is the laying out of gear, the pole and line, the hooks and bait. And where to go and when. As much gardening begins in the winter, during the cold months when the ground is hard and snow covered, so fishing begins the night before…or, perhaps, weeks or months before in a kind of longing, yearning, fishers feel that they “must down” to the water again; the flowing water, the waves and tide. And, the plunging stream over the shining rocks.

These thoughts hurried through my head from one room of memory, down a corridor of recollection, to another as I stood with a pillow in my hand looking out on the quiet river below. I tried listening for the birds.

It was breakfast time for them, and just a few minutes before we had both been about feeding the little creatures. Now that was done and I expected the usual frenzy of wings and bad manners. No, everything was still, beautiful and still. Dew, dropped from the leaves, and the little shudder such dropping leaves behind, was about the only movement; except, at their very tops the tall trees lining the river, the dancing trees I call them, swayed ever so slightly; inches, really, back and forth just like a sigh.

I turned to go back to finishing the bed, taking my eyes from the quiet scene in front of me. As I turned a slight breeze stirred through the window bringing a sweet gift, the scent of lilacs from my neighbor’s tree about a dozen yards upstream of me. We have seen no bees so far this year, and beautiful as the flowers look, beautiful as the river in its stillness seems, beautiful as lilacs on a slight breeze smell…

This room is perfectly still, and silent, except for the ticking clock.


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