the pledge to notice, and to pin down the noticings like dried flowers
on the notecards on my table, again
learning gomphrena, the flower that comes in hues of purple and red and the kind with yellow dashes on the tips, fireworks, feeling thankful for the papery bracts that lend themselves easily to visions of bright winter window decorations
‘soak up the sun’ I say to the first graders walking on the farm who are complaining that they are hot and they are thirsty, and when can they sit down, ‘ because it will be winter sooner than we think!’ I say even though that is hard to imagine in the 80 degrees and not even 11am on this mid-October morning
ordering hot and sour soup for the third time in two weeks from the same restaurant under the bridge, this time its dark outside and raining. inside its all smiles we’re laughing and shouting and reaching out with our arms to underscore injustices and gesticulate our fantasies of growing 15 foot perennial grasses in 10 foot long garden beds so sometimes I become conscious of how much louder we are than the older couple sitting at the table next to us, but they don’t seem bothered and the red hue of the wallpaper and the soft maroon of the napkins and the spicy warming liquid is warming more than just the inside of my stomach.
it is after dinner and we are trading plants out of car trunks at the edge of the driveway in the dark;
sweet alyssum, which I never knew by name until now, in 3 six packs and a giant begonia named marmaduke.
e takes the begonia (much to k’s chagrin, because where will it go in the winter), and k takes the sweet alyssum, for all of us to share- being that it attracts the syrphid fly, who’s larvae will chow down on aphids in the garden.
s gives me some tiny thai basil, and a parsley, and collards. it is easy to hold all three plants in the palm of my hand but soon, they’ll grow
watching the steam rise from three mugs of tea on the kitchen counter in the morning of a workday but i am on vacation
peach juice dribbles down my chin near where webber road enters
historic whately and my fingers are sticky so i wipe them on my
shirt before grabbing the handlebars again and srs says this is what i want when i retire and at first i think she means running a peach farm and setting up a stand like the one we’ve come across, which seems like a lot of work forretirement
but then i realize she means biking over back roads in the hills with friends stopping along the way to eat peaches
the way the water shines on the rocks above the dam
glimmering in afternoon light
and i slide into it and submerge myself (just a little bit colder than i would prefer)
when i decide that the (once in two years) (its been a long time) lunch date with c just isn’t enough hangout time on this brilliant weather day, so when she asks want to come sailing with me and my brother? i say
it would be different if one of us was very big, n says but we’re not , as we decide to go out on the water together this time, three of us on the littlest sail boat i have ever seen that he had just taken down from the roof of his (small) car and assembled in the sand, with the help of a red-faced pot-bellied jet-skier
i am wearing a pair of c’s boxer shorts that we find in the heap of a closet /otherwise known as the back of her car, (leftover from her latest move from nola), since i mistakenly didn’t come prepared for this adventure
watching the south bound amtrak train glide past us on its tracks along the river, noticing how small and peaceful it’s giant loud machinery looks from my new vantage point on the water
talking to the baby seven weeks! the way i would talk to an adult while c is bouncing her to soothe the crying sleep is your best option