Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I like storms, thunder, lightening, rain, gray days. But I've never been all that fond of sunshine and have always assumed that's because I had to go out and play when I was a kid. We picked violets and lillies of the valley in a small lot in the middle of three streets down on Richards Road. And I went swimming in the bay and still like swimming well enough, though i don't really go out of my way to do it.

I grew up in the suburbs, with the sense that there was no way of knowing what was going on inside the houses. The hedges were well tended, the grass was always mowed. Everything was neat and orderly. But where were the people? We roller skated on the sidewalks and rode bikes in the street. The smell of burning leaves was very much part of fall. Cinnie Baldwin's father didn't mind that we rolled around in the pile he'd just raked. Foreget-me-nots, bleeding hearts and forsythia were springtime. But nothing from my childhood has given me any appreciation for being outside. I used to like gardening, but always as a chore, as something that ought to be done because my grandfather had gardened.

i don't really like walking in the woods or appreciate scenery when I'm looking out of a train window. I recently found a park, near the store where I buy digital photo paper and film, that seems to be an illustrated example of rock outcroppings, basins and a muddy pond. I notice the scenery there, though it still doesn't seem very important. Fortunately, Bogie likes walking there, though the pond has proved to be a serious problem that leaves him a sorry mess.

However, when I go to the backside of Suffolk Downs, I stand looking at a newly harrowed track and feel happy in a way that nothing else about being outdoors allows me to feel. I'm just happy when I'm there, watching the John Deere tractors pull the harrows during the break between 6-8 and 8:20-10 when training sessions ends.


  1. A surprising, fresh appreciation for the sculpted. That's a wet track, isn't it?

  2. No, it's a freshly harrowed track. The John Deere's pull harrows over it once in the morning during the training times and also once, I think, during a race.