My heart was wrapped up in clover
Around mid day yesterday I was hustling out of the grocery store with a bag of hamburger, cauliflower, cheese, and a can of beans. I was hoping to slip quietly away to camp on a Thursday afternoon with nobody noticing.
“Hi, Dick, “ said my buddy Bill. “Looks like you’re trying to sneak out of town.”
I hadn’t even gotten to the parking lot yet.
Bill is 90-years-old, a life-long hard worker, now retired. His big broad syrupy grin told me he knew a thing or two about an occasional round of hookey.
It was a dreamy afternoon. I devised a little irrigation system to drain our outdoor hot tub water into the garden, where the summer’s first zucchini lay sunbathing in the shade of a huge leaf. The tomatoes are creeping along, too, but slowly. It hasn’t been a good garden summer so far.
My afternoon swam in the lazy pleasantness of daydreams washed down with the bottle of red wine I had opened far too early. From the shade of a sun umbrella I sat and sipped, shirtless, admiring the white pine trees I have planted during the past few summers. They are still small, some not yet as tall as the weeds around them, but they are growing and I’m supposing in another 20 summers I’ll be sitting among them, in the shade, biting, sucking, and tasting tiny petals of clover.
The clover is spreading magnificently all over the property between our cabin and the lake. I don’t know how clover got here. It just showed up and started making itself at home.
Clover is among my favorite flowers. It is prominent on cans of Bag Balm, a cow udder ointment made in Lyndonville, Vermont, only a few miles from my cherished boyhood home. Farmer Dole had cans of it sitting on every windowsill in his barn. That’s where we got our milk in those days.
Fields of clover were widespread in our part of Vermont. I remember my mother showing me how to pull each little clover petal from the flowerhead, bite it, and taste the sweetness. With some imagination I could sometimes taste the sweetness, but it didn’t really explode the taste buds like a cold popsicle.
I found myself yesterday, among the laze of my dreams and the haze of the wine, chewing those little clover petals, and smiling across the lake.
Afternoon gave way to evening and I decided to stay overnight. It made me happy, and it made the dogs happy, so I turned off my phone, just in case it didn’t make everybody happy.
I got up for awhile in the night. An owl was hu-huing close by and I was counting the hu hus in hopes of identifying it. I believe it was either a Great Horned Owl or a Barred Owl. We hear these frequently, so I feel sure there will be plenty more chances.
My intention today was to boat home early and go to the office for a few hours. At 5:30 the day started out calm and quiet - perfect for just sitting and watching the sun come up. I never drink tea in the morning, so I made some tea - several cups to welcome the dawn. It was so absolutely pleasant that I was still drinking tea and looking at the lake when I should have been at work.
An hour after that I called the office to say I’d be a little late, then promptly dozed off in my chair beside the lake and awoke just in time for a small lunch snack.
So, here I sit after 24 hours at camp, having done nearly nothing, and it’s almost time to go pick up Mary. It’s the weekend! Woo hoo... time to go to camp. I see wine and clover scheduled...