Sunday, April 4, 2010

With all the Frills upon it

Whether you celebrate today as a religious person, a chocoholic, a bunny fetishist or a pagan, Happy Easter. Talk about convergence! I meant between the Christian liturgical calendar and the pagan seasonal passages-I still don't understand the relation of chocolate or rabbits to either side of that equation but that's the great thing about Livin' in the USA, tolerance.

Went for an early morning walk yesterday in and around my neighborhood, Washington and Lafayette Streets, near NFA in Norwich, Connecticut. Like a lot of the Northeast, we got smacked really good Sunday through Wednesday by torrential rains that never slowed until they stopped, and though the skies are blue now, you can see evidence of earlier this week everywhere.

It was the kind of morning with lots of high haze that, as the sun clears the horizon, after seven or so, burns off quickly leaving a blue so deep and true you can get lost in it just looking at it. One of the things all the rain distracted us from, or at least me, was how much farther along the trees, bushes and grasses are now than a week or so ago. Where there were lots of red buds, and at a distance you could also see light red glow on the tips of branches, there are now light green, tiny leaves pushing their way into the day.

And where there were brown and matted patches of grass at Chelsea Parade (the cut across from Lincoln Avenue to NFA; Sachem has a light and Williams has a cross walk), there's green or will be if we stop stepping on it long enough to let it grow. It felt a little like the Spring that Almost Wasn't--this hasn't been the kindest time in our history, either nationally or locally for the last couple of months. We've had talking heads hurling invective at one another on an idea you'd think everyone would agree is good, universal health care, except we can't agree how to pay for it, or how much, or for whom, and how often, and other hair-splitting so infinite you'd think we were barbers.

Here in The Rose of New England, the City Manager's Proposed Budget for Monday night's Council meeting is awaited with dread by many, if not all, and adding to the gloom is the realization "the State" is even more Waist Deep in Big Muddy than we are and will not be sending many, or any, reinforcements. Salvation ala mode with a cup of tea has been cancelled due to fiduciary foolhardiness.

I'm not sure that means a whole lot to the baby birds hiding in the brambles on Grovesvenor Place, and who grow very quiet when you walk by but begin squawking again the moment you pass. I'm pretty sure, based on prolonged observation, the grey squirrels have no opinion on the mill rate in the Consolidated City District, as long as you fling a handful of peanuts their way once an hour or so. I was going to ask the young nurse in the powder-blue scrubs smoking a cigarette at the first (but closed) entrance to the Yantic Cemetery, which is around the corner from the W. W. Backus Hospital but the irony of her attempting to get a head start into the next life made me giggle too much to speak.

And the clean-up from where the Yantic spilled over its banks continues, even at places like Evert's shop which was pounded and drowned by the river (he and his partner will rebuild because that's how they are), and life goes on even as the seasons shift and the heavens smile. Change is really the only constant in our existence and it's the desire to know what's around that next corner that keeps us running up that hill.
-bill kenny

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