Friday, April 21, 2006

Daisy Chain

This afternoon I took a long walk around the lagoons behind the plant, making swift, uncounted laps around the green pools softly rippled by a disheartened west wind. After about three turns the antelope a hundred yards below in the valley got accustomed to me; two males, skulls abutted, tussled for ground on spindly legs. Beyond the animals, down across the highway, the starched brown grass on the grounds of the State Hospital is already mottled with rashes of emerald growth.

Up over the steep slope above the closest pond, in the soft dirt from three-years-past construction, I tried to step in my own shoeprints each time. I did this to inflict the least possible damage to the new green shoots of sego lilies, the papery desert blooms Jeff gathers for his father’s grave every spring. Such hearty perennial wildflowers and garden annuals have enormous value to me over gaudy tropical blooms. I cherish the tulips and pansies, marigolds, lilacs, jonquils, hyacinth, hollyhocks, poppies and peonies whose rare palette and perfume make the brief Wyoming summer all the more exquisite. In the hills, segos and larkspur, lupine, Indian paintbrush, arnica and skyrockets thrive without any gardener’s ministrations.

Morgan and I used to repeat a vague schoolyard chant (does she remember?) about the astounding possibility inherent in the fact that the world is so enormously populated. It went something like this: Someone is having a baby- now, and now, and now. Someone is waking up- now, and now, and now. Someone is… insert universal life experience here- etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (in my best Yul Brynner). You get the point. My favorite line, of course, was the one that made me feel a part of a vast, unseen global assembly, and yet somehow special and loved at the same time: someone is thinking about me- now, and now, and now. Whenever I am doing something rhythmic- walking, sweeping, occasionally while painting- I find myself repeating it under my breath, unconsciously.

After walking, I poured some sugar-free lemon lime powder into an empty half-liter Arrowhead water bottle and filled it at the sample tap in the lab at the back of the old plant. Constantly flowing, the stream from that copper tap is a pristine example of unquestionably perfect drinking water, despite being surface water and somewhat on the ‘hard’ end of the scale- but of course, calcium does a body good. Cold and clear, with a free available chlorine residual of 1.5 parts per million, the freshly treated water has no discernable taste or smell. I put the sour citrus powder in it because I had to get rid of the quarter of a teaspoon in the package before Travis comes back to work tomorrow. He hates it when I leave small containers of “nasty powder” sitting open on the break room counter next to the microwave. I should have left it.

I’ve got “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” stuck in my head, although I have no idea what the words are. Dang, that’s a catchy tune.


Blogger a572mike said...

KT Tunstall rocks.

April 21, 2006 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger A said...

I should say.

April 22, 2006 at 8:41 PM  
Anonymous christmas angel said...

Course I remember the little chant, I think I made it up! Lovely description of the wildflowers and our pending spring. What did you think this morning, though? It was DAMN cold at the plant and the wind nearly blew the roof of the warehouse off...we actually got some snow, but by this evening it was gone and dry up there, excluding the occasional puddle here and there.

April 24, 2006 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous christmas angel said...

PS...I like that song too!

April 24, 2006 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger A said...

I figgered you would (squit!), because Mom likes it, too.

April 24, 2006 at 9:17 PM  

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