On Sodom Pond

Postcards from rural Vermont

Softenings

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march-30-003.jpgMud season has begun, and with it the familiar shimmying along thawing dirt roads, the veer and jolt of being slammed into grooves, like in bumper cars at the carnival. The Mud Goddess reminds us spring is fickle, and murky. Not so fast, she says. Before sweet green and birdsong we must trudge through the suck and pull of mud. Neighbors call each other. How’s the pass at Butler’s farm? That one’s still firm but the culvert up towards the Bair’s is ferocious. It depends on the time of day that you’re passing. What are the temp’s doing today? What spots get sun? It’s enough to make you wish for the stability of the winter freeze.

As for me, I awoke this weekend from a long winter’s nap to see two young tom turkeys under the feeder and the hens disappeared. To hear birdsong coming from deeper within the forest and with more force and insistence. To smell wet earth and dirt. And to taste the first boiling of maple sap turned into magical ambrosial syrup. A young steed on his horse arrived at my cabin door with a phial of the magic potion and said, “Drink,” and off we went into the woods on our snowshoes, the ambrosia still warm in my pocket, stopping along the way for a pale sip that startled in its boldness, following this young man breaking trail and clearing branches, pointing out a deer bed, sniffing the wind, a man of this earth, who kept turning back to wink at me, and who caught me when I fell, and who said as he rode away on his steed, “I’ll be back!”

Spring has begun….

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