Friday, March 11, 2011

Thoughts on March 11

Each year on March 11, I try to write something... good and deep (but not obnoxious) and worthy. I started thinking about it earlier in the week, perhaps that was my mistake. I didn't come up with much, but I didn't worry too much. I figured that the day would come and something would happen. Some sign, something almost spiritual even though I don't really believe that way. Open water on the lakes... but there's more ice cover today than yesterday (the rivers are open -- and very high -- but have been for weeks). A heron returned (which won't happen without the open water first) or maybe a V of sandhills interrupting time with their calls. The first uncharacteristically warm, sunny day that calls everyone out of doors after a winter inside. Even a witch hazel flower.

I didn't get any of it, except for sun. It is a lovely, dazzlingly bright, late winter day with nothing to separate it from another except our thoughts and our memories. And I find I have everything to write about, which really means I have nothing to about. (I tell kids that... if you say "everything" was your favorite part, you don't really have a favorite part. I suppose it's not the same with writing, but it feels like it is.) Luckily, my mom rescued me with some thoughts of her own... so I'll allow myself a year off. Plus, stressing out about it doesn't really seem a fitting tribute.

Here are my mom's thoughts on March 11:

"It’s in the mid-40’s here today – a far cry from the warmth of this day four years ago – but the sun is shining brightly, a rare phenomenon during the past several months. Though the snow has only recently melted from the drifts that surrounded the memorial tree and stone, last year’s crop of crab apples is withering and new leaf buds are emerging. It is a day when one’s thoughts could easily turn to spring and spring activities, to canoeing and canoeists.

"The lagoons are still ice covered; the river is clear. The two small streams entering the river below the dam are running rapidly. Together with the water coming through the dam, they make a swirl of currents that could easily daunt even the most experienced boatman. Two hardy fishermen were casting into the eddies this morning. They did not think they were commemorating a life-altering event or memorializing a life-altering personality. However, their life-affirming optimism was a testament to Grandpa’s equally life-affirming and optimistic nature.

"It is one of the first days of the year when one dare think that winter’s gloom might be past. It is a day when one’s heart can soar with the memories of joys of the past and hope for the future. I join you all in remembering how lucky we are to have been part of Stanton’s life."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Naomi!
    I came across your blog searching about phenology. Do you have any idea where I might find Phenology "rules"? Such as plant this when this event is happening... like I think its corn seed that you should plant when oak tree leaves are full??? Oh, I can't remember... I can't seem to come across Phenology "rules" or lessons anywhere, just discussions about current year observations. Please let me know if you know of a resource that has those good ol' time Phenology rules/lessons. Thanks!!!!