HUNTING AND PRETENDING

by Lisa

The time has changed, and the sun sets later in the day now.  We pretend that it does, anyway.

Extra daylight in the evening means less in the morning.  I do not adjust easily to the loss of an hour at the beginning of a day, but the dog and the small person seem to take the shift in stride.

I have not.  I am sleepy.

The evening daylight, though, is precious and beautiful.  Today was rainy in a gently soaking way; my hair has been damp for hours now, and I had to change clothes after a walk in what seemed like not-rain that seeped through my down jacket.  My jacket didn’t mind.  The rain was welcome.  Rain is not snow, and mid-March is not dark like mid-February, thanks to this time change.

The dog and I looked for signs of spring and found them.  The ammi majus is a centimeter high above the wet leaves, and some escaped English ivy and greater periwinkle foliage has started to push out soft new shoots.  Neighbors’ irises are greening through their soggy leftover leaves of last summer.  Robins land in little fat flocks on the bike path and leave again when we get close.  The dog knows more about all of this than I do, and he tells me what he can.  I’m slow to understand, but he is patient.

Put your nose here, he offers.  A wonderful playful thing happened here this morning, and this broken branch is proof of the thing.  This flattened grass is proof of a sleeping newborn thing, and this spot of mud in the gravel is proof of another, bigger thing than us stepping here in the night.  Look here with all of your senses, and you’ll know.

I try.  I’m better with green things.

Soon, on a less rainy-muddy day, the small person and I will go hunting for green.  We look for buds and shoots every spring, just like Gram and I used to look.  She knew where to find green in our small world, the big yard at 305 Napoleon, and sometimes in other places on our walks, but most of our discoveries happened at home.  I hoarded the spring things in my heart, and I felt like we were rich with new green, richer certainly than the people in big houses with plain grass lawns.  We had sweet peas when no one else had them, and hollyhocks that spread from our center of town to every edge, three blocks in each direction.  We had daffodils older than Gram and Papa, and peonies–not green at first, but glowing red–that came from the oldest part of the cemetery.  Our green was special, ancient to me, and unique.

The green that the small person and I find will be a little of that, and a lot of the wider world in which we exist.  We have the same irises and daffodils, by a happy accident of fate.  Even before we migrated back to this house, we found excuses to walk past to visit our daffodils at this red-diamond-window house where she lived before she was born.

Extra hours of daylight will come for real, minute by minute, soon enough.  For now, we shift in a big jump all at once and pretend that we have more, and that is good enough for me.

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