I came home from work, threw on my black rubber boots, grabbed a yogurt and fled into the sunshine with Bean at my heels. DH followed suit soon after, carrying his signature pint glass of iced espresso, his muscles rippling divinely under the blue cotton of his t-shirt. Barely t-shirt weather, but Iâ€™m all for it.
We rambled haphazardly, following our marmalade streak of a cat, Bandit, down into the lower meadow where the apple trees grow, and where, in summer, the grass is waist high. Now itâ€™s trampled and brown, and the apple trees have the tiniest of budlets just beginning to push from the ashy maroon bark. I ran back to get the pruning shears and with a sudden zest, we initiated the immense task of taming the mess of wild grape vines growing like kudzu between knobby, overgrown and half-dead branches of our many apple trees.
It was pure delight to be there with my two guys, cutting back dead wood, with apple sap on my fingers, while Bean chased the cat in widening orbits around us. DH pulled out the chain saw, and we made an afternoon of clearing fallen branches and logs from the edge of the woodsâ€”piling them in a bonfire heap. Then we lay down in the grass and watched the sky spin. Like looking up into the deep blue curvature of an enamel bowl, flecked with milk.
The robins are back, and their warbling became a forte trilling as the sun neared the edge of the woods. Bean couldnâ€™t get enough of playing outdoors. All he wanted to do was run, twirl, climb, muck about, and I canâ€™t blame him. The slow start to spring has had me antsy. I can barley imagine foliage. It feels like snowflakes have been permanently imprinted on my inner eye.
When it was dinner time we sat at the table bathed in sunlight, with the windows open, and ate an artichoke together, Bean on my lap. Our fingers were a mess of lemon-butter for dipping the tender parts. Bean shares my affection for this oddly sweet flower, and together we nibbled the heart right to the pithy thistle down, and then reluctantly sat back, licking our fingers.
A good day.