More of March, Everyday New, Odd, Present

Today, in the midst, was, nevertheless, utterly beautiful. Sun light clear, a winter clear bouncing off white snow here in Massachusetts, white snow that is melting rather quickly in the sun/40+ degree temperatures, but not disappearing under the tread of multiple feet, multiple vehicles, because they are few, few. I walked from my house to downtown to return two books to the library (into the outside box, of course, untouched for awhile by human hands–gloved or ungloved), and to a coffee shop that I like to sit in, but of course cannot right now, but I could and did buy a dark roast and a freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. I walked in the middle of usually busy streets just because I could. I also walked along a couple of the multiple canals that define the city of Lowell, Massachusetts. Spring has begun here.

Red maple budding over the cloud reflecting Hamilton Canal in downtown Lowell.

And like March’s coincident budding trees and melting snow, the waters, too, continue their patterns (and thank God they do!), flowing a steady wash over dams and obstructions. Two days ago I saw a pair of very effective beaver dams making small rapids along the local rail trail, today it was the Western Canal and Upper Pawtucket Street Canal pouring into the Hamilton Canal. I love that you can hear water flow even before you see it, including that of a lazy river, even that — the sound in that case, I find, is an absence of sound, as if the air above the water body holds its breath until it reaches the next shore.

Water rushes whenever it has need. Here at the Pawtucket Locks House. It is good to see it to hear it run. Sometimes it is too good, it floods. But today it is something to enjoy.
And the basin resulting from this three canal confluence, reflecting a brilliant sun and sky as well as a corner of a newly constructed courthouse complex that I must say I find a very attractive building. Maybe I’ll show the building at another time.

And now I am home typing this out at my desk, and might note that the shrub out front that had so far been cased out by cardinals and robins (and glanced at sidelong by hopeful bluejays), has also been checked out by a pair of house finches, while the cardinals and robins still flit in and around and out. Such an important decision, the infants’ nest. Oh boy! Who will choose it? Will any? I watch daily, holding my breath.

Once again, I offer no profundity, and am soon to close and send this out. But may I just share along with my hopes that this posting finds you healthy, learning new and wonderful ways to be inside your homes, and happy to know that in fact we are alive and the earth, created, I believe, by God as, I believe, was all else, runs without us, and can only delight if we only care; may I just share two more photos.

A Gingko tree, a tree recorded from prehistoric times, beginning it budding, yet again, yet again.
A budding branch of my beloved Tulip Poplar, persisting yet another year.

Thank you for reading this reportage of a day in my life. May you find reason to celebrate in yours. May you have cause to celebrate.

One more thing, here is a poem:
Counting-out Rhyme by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Silver bark of beech, and sallow
Bark of yellow birch and yellow
Twig of willow.

Stripe of green in moosewood maple,
Colour seen in leaf of apple
Bark of popple*.

Wood of popple pale as moonbeam,
Wood of oak for yoke and barn-beam,
Wood of hornbeam.

Silver bark of beech, and hollow
Stem of elder, tall and yellow
Twig of willow.


*she uses popple here in an archaic sense, as poplar
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry, in my mind, runs the gamut from elegant and heart stopping to a bit overwrought. But I think she actually felt language and enables me to as well.

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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