Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back from a Bit of a Walk

[Sunday, 10 February 2013]

The librarians are holding a book for me, it lured me out of my slippers and out of the house.  My wife was busy in the kitchen, so I set forth alone -- but now cheerfully, since her kiss on the cheek lasted me all the way to the library;  and on the way back, I had my new book.

Very bright, but cold.  I scanned the expanse of the lake  and determined that, but for a patch out towards the middle, it was completely covered with ice, though in what appeared a very thin sheet.   Enough to support the seagulls, though.
Observation by an amateur naturalist:  Seagulls have a lot of leisure time.

Down near the footbridge, a small boy on a small bike -- not a trike, but the big-boy kind (albeit with training-wheels).    Passing some muddy patches by the side of the path, he articulated, basically talking to himself but aloud for all to hear, 
“I hope I don’t fall in the mu-ud…!"
There was little chance of that, since his mom was right behind him, providing the bicycle with additional stability, with a steady hand;  and his father a couple of paces behind that, chuckling at what the boy had said, and holding in readiness  the stability the boy will later need, when life would becomes much muddier than he is now aware.  But as the boy well knew -- and as all boys know -- falling-in-the-mu-ud is just one of those things that keep happening to kids, like getting hit in the head with a spitball, y’cain’t hardly help it.

At the checkout counter, I managed to catch the eye of the reserved but fetching librarian, who came over quietly and accepted my card.   By good fortune, fate had provided an appropriate conversational opening.  “Two out of the three flags outside are at half-mast," I asked her,  "Why is that?”  It was pretty much a foolproof opener, since, in case there had just been some national tragedy that I would have heard of if only I stayed glued to the TV set like everyone else, the question would then seem to be asking, Why weren’t they all lowered.  (Actually  it couldn’t well be a national tragedy, since Old Glory stood at the top of the mast, flapping proudly above the lower two.  Perhaps some local setback -- someone’s soufflé that failed to rise.)  She said she didn’t know, but was so nice as to look the matter up, right there on her library screen. -- No explanation available. -- Due back in three weeks.

Towards the end of the journey  as I retraced my steps, I noticed that a good half of the lake was now quite free of ice, as the westering sun had shifted it into its glint.

A good sign.  Several good signs, in fact.

No comments:

Post a Comment