Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Gousty Tree

Blanket Flowers

I am in the snow-dusted garden in front of my parents' home.  The world is hushed beneath a delicate covering of snow—except for Amabel's singing in the distance and the thud of Ellen's boots up and down the paths.  She is making tracks.  I notice the forms of the plants.  November silhouettes are now outlined in white.  Blanket flowers are still standing tall in front of the little (guest) house: my brother's summer writing cabin.  I think of him and his family.


We walk past the clothesline on our way up the back valley to look for a Christmas tree.  I notice drops of water suspended on the line.  The air is not quite cold enough to turn them into ice.

Not tall enough

Amabel is singing louder now, experimenting with the sound of her voice as it echoes over the hills.  Ellen has discovered a "snow cafeteria."  "Come see!" she calls.

Snow Cafeteria!

There are rose hip bushes among the meadow grasses, sumac, and scraggly pines.  I stand in front of one.  I move around it, watching how the light illuminates its red buds.


The dogs dash around us, noses to the ground—carried away by the delight of animal scents on fresh snow.  They look up only briefly when we call their names.

On the Run

As we walk back toward the house, Jeffrey joins us.  We decide to look in the front field for a tree, near the Tunnel of Love.  But I am distracted by the garden plants again—what remains from the summer now covered in white lace.  I'm particularly drawn to the bronze fennel.  I remember taking a picture of it glowing in August light.  How wonderful that my parents have left it standing.

Bronze Fennel

My family wants me to join them now.  I leave the fennel and follow three figures down the path into a sea of pine trees.  

This One, Papa?

Together, we find our tree.  A perfect Gousty tree.

Watching (from a safe distance)


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