Marching to a New Drummer and It’s Hard to Keep in Step

We’re in odd times. Not unprecedented. Nor good.

It is a beautiful day outside today, March 15th, 2020. For some reason, I have not found a reason to wander in it. Yesterday I did. Yesterday I walked 8 miles. Today, I sit; I read; I drink coffee; I notice that I had better trim the front shrubs soon, very soon, because as I sat here at my desk looking out, I observed a cardinal pair exploring the evergreen shrub in which they had nested last year. In case they choose it again, I want to have finished trimming and its neighbor before they begin to build and so not scare them away from the home they were making. Today would be a good day to do it. It is currently 2:37 PM. There is time.

And I did, it is 4:47 and I trimmed one of two shrubs I thought I would accomplish today. I use hand loppers. I don’t like the electric thing that screams as it slices. As a result, there is not defined shape on our shrubs. It waves in the manner of my lopping focus and strength. I dare not share a picture of the shrub. It is not shapeless, but neither shapely. I’m ashamed to admit, I also have a blister on the base of my left index finger. Oh the places we can antagonize on our bodies. Just hope the cardinals will wait another day or two.

And now it is Friday March 20th, and the warnings to stay physically apart from others grow more urgent each day, and so since Tuesday I am obeying. I bicycled on Wednesday, but trying for remoteness not on the rail trail, which would have been beautiful. And, true to these times, while most of this week the temperatures were in the 40s, today it is supposed to reach 70, and tomorrow 40s again. I want to note the temperature progression so far today — I woke and it was 70, that was at 7:00. Half an hour later it was down to 38. But by 10:30 it was 43. And now, at noon it is 49. The patterns are intriguing to watch if only they weren’t so portentous.

What are you doing? What were you doing five minutes ago? Where? What will you do for the rest of this day? Tomorrow?

I feel at a remove. I am safe, and well, and not likely to be personally reached by the virus as long as I take care. But how many people who I or you know, and how many who we don’t know, but who exist nonetheless, are standing at the fore are breathing infested air just by being where they unavoidably are, or just by being where they choose to be in order to help. May we never forget to care, may we never deny the imbalance of life from community to community on this earth. May this bring out the best in us.

This is all I have to say today. It does not engender any relevant pictures, so I am attaching two disparate recent sunny day photographs. A duck I spied on the Merrimack River, and the shadows of my sister and me as we walked up the Kosciusko Bridge just last week.

I believe this is a female snow goose
A most uncomplimentary look, but it was cold, and we had on many layers to walk this high open bridge

By the way, now robins are inspecting the shrub directly in front of my window. They have nested there as well as have cardinals. We will see which choose the site, if either. A bluejay streaks by occasionally, which is a concern for any nesting birds of smaller or equal physical aspect to them. I will follow this saga, and report in the future. Final note, as I was typing the previous sentence, the cardinals stopped by again. Perhaps there will be two nests in the one shrub? One can only hope.

Author: Kate Hemenway

I like to explore, to observe. I like to be within what is around. There is always something to wonder about and to ponder. There is always something.. My favorite ways to get to places are bicycling and walking; or reading, or thinking, or asking. Please feel free to ask back, as I continue to wonder out loud, express joy or concern, or, sometimes, talk through my hat.

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