This spring, everything that blooms has bloomed heavily, in scented blossom clouds. Last spring it was the opposite, a sparse bloom in pale wisps, like an invalid’s dry cough, or a storm that disperses before it arrives.
It rained again last night. At six this morning, the trees were dripping in the bright sunlight. At the top of the hill, even the old one-sided maple looked like it was in bloom, with bright bits of whitened moss near the top proclaiming the new day. The tree is a survivor — of what, I don’t know, but after losing half of itself several years ago, its death seemed likely to follow. It has since recovered, and what remains is as healthy as any undamaged tree in the neighborhood.
This past week, a neighbor filled up his backyard with a new pole barn. The stout wooden poles on one end are visible from the street, as is the structure’s shiny aluminum roof. I can’t help wondering if this is where he will store his psychological hay.
A few days ago, as I was coming down the slope one evening, I saw from a distance an old pit bull on the sidewalk. No one was around, the dog wasn’t tied, and it appeared not to have a leash. He saw me and barked. I thought of continuing on, but decided against it. I doubt he could have run after me, but something in his posture told me it would be best to avoid him. And so I walked away slowly, glancing back now and again. He watched until I was well up the slope and the view was blocked by cars parked along the street. I did think of the possibility that he wasn’t really there, and that I had visualized some unknown, deep-seated fear; he might have thought the same of me. I haven’t seen him since. Am I here?
June 14, 2020
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