Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Change is in the Air

I walked to work this morning. For the third time in two week, I did it in my shirtsleeves. I almost had to take off my vest. This weekend I'll pull the summer wardrobe out of my upper closet. It’s time to put winter things behind me. Time to put my son’s childhood behind us. By the time my wife and I get back from the graduation, it will be short sleeve weather. Maybe the beets, radishes and cilantro I planted will have sprouted. Maybe there will be lilac buds this year. Pat wanted a burn barrel out back, so I can start burning the slash that's accumulated over the years. The arrival of my son’s dog last summer while he went fishing ended up destroying my mint beds and rhubarb patch, so I am going to work hard to get them going over by the pond. The skiff is ready to go, so I'll be looking for salmon and crab when I get back. On the walk across the muskegs this morning it didn't smell like winter. The grass is still brown and the earth hasn't opened giving off that musky rich smell. But other aromas step upon the breeze. Salmon berry blossoms perfume the air when their leaves are barely budded. Saltwater, I could smell saltwater today. I could smell things I didn't recognize, even with the surest sign of spring in Southeast Alaska; Skunk Cabbage! Blazing-yellow, thick, exuberant stalks push up everywhere at random across the landscape. Though aptly named we find their aroma exciting and promising. They break through the once frozen soil and thrust large leaves across the ground, demanding the sun return to a higher course in the sky. I need to join with their expectation.