Excerpted from "A Walk in March"
by Grace Paley
crossed with broken pines and maples
lumpy with the burial mounds of
uprooted hemlocks (hurricane
of ’38) out of their
rotting hearts generations rise
trying once more to become
just beyond them
tall enough to be called trees
in their youth like aspen a bouquet
of young beech is gathered
they still wear last summer’s leaves
the lightest brown almost translucent
how their stubbornness has decorated
the winter woods
The first day of March and snow lays thinly on the ground, just covering the tops of my cantankerous, always too early, tiny purple crocus. It's hard to believe that in just a couple of days I'll be breaking ground in my garden, clearing away debris, and readying the soil for this year's veggies. I am more than ready.
My ten year old, Sam, has asked to grow an herb garden this year so we're planning to set him up with a small raised bed. At first, he was interested the prospect of growing things that he could brew into tea (Sam loves tea--which is well in keeping with this funny, gentle little personality). When I told him that some herbs could be used for medicinal purposes, he began asking more questions and now wants to grow an even greater variety. He is an old soul, is our Sam.
Last night, while watching television (and without removing his eyes from the screen), he commented,"You know Mom, I'm just not a very aggressive person. I'm kind of careful by nature."
I replied (being cautious about shaking his definition of himself) "I know what you mean, Sam, but you can be aggressive about certain things--like being the best student you can be. And you can be strong and focused without being careless."
"Yeah. I know. But I don't like to hurt people. That's why I'm not sure I want to play football after all."
Sam was his father's last best hope for an athlete, so I'm hoping (sort of that) that Sam will rethink this. All the others are pursuing interests like music, science, and art. But this is what you get when you marry hippie progeny. We may be peaceful sorts, but our genes dominate any DNA pool we're mix with.