far too much writing, far too many photos

The simple pleasures — lordy, yes, the simple pleasures. I get up, it’s sunny, the temperature outside has already made its way up into the lower 70’s. I fill a bottle with water, shamble sleepily down to the end of the driveway to water a couple of young sunflowers and some newly planted lobelia, birds singing, crickets making gentle music in the long grass. The mail carrier pulls up, stopping to shove a few items in my roadside box — I wave thanks, they wave back and take off. I pick up the mail, walking through stands of orange hawkweed and New England aster along the way, then head back toward the house. A robin up on the picnic table in the yard takes off as I approach, I pause there to splash some water on some cypress vine seedlings that are just breaking through the dirt in a planting box I’ve left on the table.

Through all of that, I am not molested by a single blackfly. Not a single blessed one. Which engenders a buoyant sensation of freedom — primitive and simple-minded, maybe, but genuinely felt.

[NOTE: The winged bloodsuckers showed up later as I cut grass. #*%^@!!!]

I’m beginning to feel and think like a rustic in his dotage, tromping around my little fiefdom in wellingtons, giving thanks when the local flying bloodsuckers pass out of their season. Dotage or not, the arrival of early summer, the real item, is exactly what the sawbones ordered. I’ve been at loose ends — a phrase that doesn’t begin to put across the emotional state it skims over — on my own to an unsettling, unhelpful extent, with a deadly lack of distractions apart from the care that a house and acres of land need, and feeling less and less motivated to go through the motions of that kind of ongoing work. I found myself lying in bed this morning in a bleak state of mind, feeling like the combination of near-reclusive living and oppressive weather had brought me to a gray mental place bordering on despair.

And the world thoughtfully provided some relief.

Last week, during days of rain and 50ish temperatures, I had to put the storm windows back down as if winter were coming on. This morning, raising the windows one by one, pulling the screens down in their place, I discovered that one of the small black & white jumping spiders which literally come out of the woodwork here when the temperature drags itself up above the freezing mark had spun the most perfect spiderweb I’ve seen in a long time. In one of the living room windows, in the space between the inner sash and the storm window — a sizeable web, almost as big as the storm window itself, shining in the morning light, its lines clean and spare. I admired it for a moment then had to wipe it out to open the storm window, after which I got a piece of paper and maneuvered the spider outside before bringing the screen down.

And as I wrote that last paragraph, a good-sized doe ran through the yard outside the dining room where I sit writing this, heading quickly past and downhill toward cover.

Last night: made the drive into Montpelier to the local artsy movie theater to see Monsoon Wedding, a film I’ve been hearing about since it opened in Madrid to raves months ago. Deserved raves, as it turns out. Fun Great soundtrack.

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