Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4: Easter Sun

As I type, the sun is just dipping below the treeline across the river. Thank you, Sun, for such a lovely holiday! The last rays diffuse through branches, and now I'm seeing spots from trying to maintain eye contact with the blinding orb.

After a lovely Easter brunch with my parents at the Hartstone Inn this morning, my husband and I decided to burn off our strawberry crepes with creme Anglaise, lobster and asparagus quiche, and coconut cake by hiking up Beech Hill. Even with the inevitable breeze at the top, the air still felt like summer. A strange summer, however, with the fields still dry and dead-looking and no leaves on the trees. And still very few birds. All we saw from where we stood were the local pair of ravens, some vultures heading southward, and the ethereal pale shape of a "grey ghost"--a male harrier soaring low over the fields in search of lunch. Curiously, no other hawks, though I'm sure today was another good day for raptor migration. Returning to our car, we saw our first local phoebe silently wagging its tail in a nearby tree. And several local teenagers in short-shorts, tank tops, and flip flops--who could blame them for wanting to pretend summer had arrived, expose that sun-starved flesh?

With our friend Brian, we soaked up some more rays and watched a few more birds at Weskeag Marsh: blue-winged teals and other ducks, an eagle, a great egret trailing lacy breeding plumage, several hysterical-sounding killdeer. The glare on the salt pannes made it difficult to see well. But hard to complain, when sunlight has been so hard to come by.

Finally, at home on a Sunday afternoon, the day of rest, I got my folding chair out of the shed for the first time since last fall and sat on the back porch reading a book until the sun began to hit the treeline. The rushing music of the river muted all other neighborhood sounds except a squirrel scolding from the yard, and I indulged in an hour or so of rare and luxurious relaxation of my favorite kind. And bug-free at that. Good night, Sun.

Real peace is simple:
good Norwegian mystery,*
a patch of sunlight.

*I'm reading Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast. Nesbo is supposed to be Norway's version of Sweden's Henning Mankell, whose noir mystery thrillers I highly recommend to those who enjoy the genre.

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