My arrivals at our country house follow a pattern. Day or night I first check on the waterfall. I hear it as soon as I get out of the car, framing why I love the Catskills, wilderness and wildness set among rolling hills and dairy farms. The waterfall is fed by snowmelt and rain, so by the end of summer slows to a trickle, but big rains last week had it roaring.
Then I unpack the car, go in the house, open the windows,
and if it's daytime go back outside.
I arrived Friday late afternoon so had plenty of time to explore.
I walked to the frog pond to make sure the frogs were there.
So many species have become extinct in recent years that I worry,
but there were tadpoles and frogs in every stage.
They leap away at any movement of my shadow.
Next I investigated the wildflowers.
Forget me nots, tiny and delicate,
that perfect blue with the yellow center, takes my breath away.
Everywhere I looked there were layers of nature.
I picked some flowers and ferns
and went into the house to put them in water.
I chose a couple of my nature books
and took them, along with ice water, raspberries
and Denise Parsons' (of Chez Danisse) new book
After the Sour Lemon Moon, and went back outside to read.
"The train pulls slowly to a stop. I tug my suitcase down from the rack above and exit into the blue hour. It is quiet. I can hear myself breathe."
from, After the Sour Lemon Moon
Yes, I can hear myself breathe.