Posted by: gdevi | October 29, 2011

How the creatures live

It really is snowing in the northeast. Yesterday’s forecast said that it would start snowing around 2 am — 2o’ clock at night! — so after I came back from work I started cleaning out the garage so that I can park my car in the garage. Our driveway is so steep that it is hard to push the snow-blower up and down especially when there is a car in the way. One time it slipped dangerously while K was pushing it; it was scary. So anyway it was like jumbling different pieces — take all the bikes out–move them there, push this there, move that here, put something over there, put this over here, put that on my head?– finally I managed to move all the stuff into another part of the garage, made room for the snow-blower right in the front, in the place of honor for the next six months, then I parked my car inside. Krish is very organized and always parks his truck  and motorcycle inside. My side of the garage is where everyone dumps everything in the summer; so this is a ritual we go through every year.

It started snowing around 9:45 am this morning. It had rained all night.  I had given myself this weekend to clear out the vegetable and flower beds, rake the leaves, make everything clean. With teaching five classes and all the other work I have to do at school this semester is horrendous work-wise and time-wise. When I get some free time all I want to do is catch up on my sleep.  Naturally I could not clean the yard.  Wet soggy leaves cover every inch of the ground, and now there is snow on top.  This must be what the forests are like always. I had asked Michael who sometimes does yard-work for us  if he would clean out the gutters, and they were waiting for the leaves to finish falling to do that. I just peeked at the gutters; they are full of wet soggy leaves. A terrible mess. I was not able to clean out the deck at all, but I did manage to bring in my  house plants, which I usually leave out over summer for some sun, inside.

I guess there never is really a good time for the weather to change, is there?   But at least we all have a roof over our heads in this weather; that is what matters. Even little university towns like Lock Haven have homeless people now.

It is funny; when we bought this house, this house came with a parcel of land right next to it which is undeveloped, nothing built there, just trees, both standing and fallen, and bushes. We leave it just as it is; we don’t do anything there, we don’t plan to do anything there either. It grows wild and does whatever nature does when we don’t mess with it. The deer come there, the bears, sometimes. Lots of insects and creatures live there. I tell the kids to be careful when they go in there. Today, in this wet, soggy mess, there is finally a seamless continuity between the yard of this house and this “wild” place next-door. I am sure the little critters are happy. Every time we mow and rake, we must be killing many of them.

Here is a lovely poem by Mary Oliver:

Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)

The spirit

likes to dress up like this:

ten fingers,

ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest

at night

in the black branches,

in the morning

in the blue branches

of the world.

It could float, of course,

but would rather

plumb rough matter.

Airy and shapeless thing,

it needs

the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,

the oceanic fluids;

it needs the body’s world,


and imagination

and the dark hug of time,


and tangibility,

to be understood,

to be more than pure light

that burns

where no one is —

so it enters us —

in the morning

shines from brute comfort

like a stitch of lightning;

and at night

lights up the deep and wondrous

drownings of the body

like a star.


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