Dawn arrives wet in field and bog, especially now. Should you be living in New England, you’ll have noticed we’ve had some cool, rainy, spring days. The Carpenter sensibly uses tall boots in field and bog, looking much like Downton-Abbey-come-to-Plainfield. The hound prefers a barefooted approach to mud and wet grass and has handy cleats to prevent slipping and sliding. Agatha Senior would have approved, as she was known to say, “you’re not made of sugar, you won’t melt,” alternated with “your skin is waterproof.” Not that we ever, ever saw Agatha Senior on bare feet.
Take it on the authority of experience that mixing their approaches does not work. Leather hiking boots are waterproof, most of the time and if you keep them in good fettle. Not from the top, however. Moreover, they take a day to dry and, in the long run, they don’t take kindly to being sodden each and every day. RIP pair number three in short order.
After drowning the boots once again, it finally dawned that investing in a pair of tall rubber boots might be the way to go even if they aren’t exactly made for walking. I use them to stalk the bog and some other bogs, besides.
Rain has been plenty and woods are gently and deeply alive with the freshness of the last cool late spring morning. Birds are hard at work and not being quiet about it, either, sounding like so many messengers happy to cry out the news that they exist.
I wish that was open to me, I have no clue hat to do with the longing for a past of futures, feeling in love with it all. I inhale deeply to bring it inside me. Surely a mistake, for now chlorophyll and pine compete to sweep me off my feet.
Wading into the bog with tall boots brings back the watery scents of the adventures of a nine-year old building dams in the outflow of small ditch, of playing in mudflats with cousins, burying ourselves, smearing ourselves with mud and proudly showing off our beauty treatments.
The hound and I wade around for a while, he to find the beaver who surely must be somewhere here, sniffing and lapping the water again and again, I to find a way to capture my feelings in a photograph the equipment isn’t made to create. It may take a lifetime to learn yet.
On the way home, I stalk my feelings, trying to get them in focus much as I just tried in vain to get the camera to see clearly the small snail climbing up the reeds in bright sunshine. Sniffing and sniffing again to compare the scent of pines and wet snow of mild winter days and this fresh, wet, cool morning in early summer.
Both fill me with the need of a teenager on a lonely Sunday afternoon — an overwhelming mix of nostalgia, longing, and potential. Some kind of ur-memory of having crawled out of the brine, perhaps? A hunter-gatherer recognition of abundant salad greens? This time, however, it is suffused with happiness and well-being.
If that’s what these seven-league boots bring, bring it on!
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Meanwhile — here are some pics; they will take a moment to load…