I walk everywhere, and see more – not less.
It’s balmy, and I’m soon carrying my jacket.
My first clue is a capital “E” letter – as from
a decal, forgotten or discarded on the sidewalk.
As I walk up the hill toward her church,
a lady in Easter finery greets me with “Happy
Easter.” She doesn’t look askance at my casual
clothes. I reply in kind, automatically. A man
and an older son dressed in fine suits –
and a younger son in a fine vest – cross
the street diagonally toward their car without
noticing or acknowledging me. In residential
areas people are working in their gardens
and yards. Along a sidewalk, a handful of
freshly pruned fruit trees are ringed with piles
of branches. The shears lay where dropped;
they will need sharpening now.
Cherry trees are heavy with blossoms. I glory
in seeing so many different deciduous trees
in bloom; the greens of cedar, fir, and spruce
are muted. Plum trees have been in full bloom;
now there are growing clouds of petals on
the ground beneath them. Near that church,
this is what I noticed: a weeping cherry
has dropped nearly all of its blossoms.
Everywhere along my path rhododendrons
are heavy with buds, and I can’t help
wondering what color blossoms
will spring forth from each tree.
The view opens up as I approach the top
of the hill. Visibility is very good under
a gauzy-cloud sky. Canadian mountains
in the distance are clear and deep in snow.
In hills northeast of town, there are tongues
of snow marking clear-cuts. I watch for eagles.
During sunbreaks, sunlight sparkles off the bay.
Gulls cry and crows call, and if they are close
I greet the crows and sing their praises. In
Boulevard Park, a small sign on the back of
a bench reads “Hit Pause ■■and take a seat.”
A few benches down, I do – briefly.
I worship here.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
April 9, 2012