Archive for May 4th, 2014



*   “May” is the most beautiful word in the English language. I never realized this until a few days ago, in the wake of the Terrible Winter.

*   Number of 24-count boxes of hand-warmers I used last winter: three. Total number of hand-warmers used the previous 29 years of carrying mail: zero.

*   But it is over. The world is abloom, beauty is poured out on all of us, the good and evil, the wise and foolish, just poured out like mercy on us. I have always loved the Spring, but never have I been so swept up in the glory of the season, never so elated to see  green things rising from the dark earth, rising up and blooming in a holy riot of color.

*   I like to take the back roads on my twenty five mile trip to work and back, when I can. The road meanders through the rolling countryside, past the Conservative Mennonite farms. In the winter it is dark both ways, and the road is often covered by drifting snow, but from early Spring to early Winter I take the slower and prettier route. There is a white oak, about a mile outside of town, that is the biggest around; certainly the largest between here and Wooster. It is majestic, and it most often surprises me; I will be driving, lost in thought, when suddenly it appears. I always cross myself, instinctively. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that some of the branches on the east side of the tree had been cut off. I assumed that maybe they were in the way of the electrical lines, but a few days later all the branches had been chopped off, leaving the trunk standing there huge, like an obscenity. Any day what is left will come down. None of the branches appeared to be rotted, but then the top of the main trunk is too high to see from road. I cannot think of another reason to kill this tree, which is well over two hundred years old. But it is a blow, after the loss of so many other trees dear to me.

*   Work, which these spring days consists mostly of walking around in beauty, is really more a sort of strolling meditation these days. To the point that I almost feel guilty for taking money for it. But then I think of that long dark winter, so relentlessly cold, so harrowing, and I feel okay: I was not being paid nearly enough last winter.

It all works out, really.


Painting by Vincent Van Gogh

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