March 5: My colleague told me he had awakened from the incident with a platter of broken ribs and burn marks branded up and down his chest. Later came the hugs and tears of EMTs, nurses, doctors and dispatchers who had brought him out of 30 full minutes of death. Receiving commendations from the city and ineffable thanks from him, the miracle-workers — he said — had told his “widow-maker” heart attack, “not today.”
March 6: I ambled along the same tiny hill that six weeks ago a toddler had sledded in snow. Although still wrapped in a scarf against the wind, I inhaled the scent of fresh mulch and felt sunshine on my cheeks. Spring?
March 7: First the cooler, then the duffles and backpacks, and at last the sleeping bags. All flung into the back of the 4×4 pickup. “All set?” the dad asked. “Oh yes, oh yes!” the young people sang. For it will be sunny and sixty degrees all week. Who wouldn’t go camping?
March 8: I wandered far off the path to the shiny whiteness resting in the grass. A disinfectant wipe, a tissue, a headband? I’d already scooped all of these things during my daily walk along our suburban bike trail. But no. Before me lay multi-pronged antlers, half of a pair. I left them, of course, for the delight or mystification of the next intrepid traveler.
March 9: Two dogs trotted past me with their owner. Each was leashed and obedient. And each carried a toy in her mouth: a cloth-covered ball with sturdy cloth ribbons cascading to make a tail. The ball’s tail was perfect for flinging in a superior game of fetch. The brown dog carried a purple ball; the black dog carried a red ball. The black dog kept glancing back at me. Perhaps she sensed my amusement at the companionable sets of matching dogs and toys. Or perhaps she just wanted to be sure not to miss another chance to play.
March 10: Sometimes it’s flamingos and beer steins. Other times, it’s checkerboards and flowers. And still other times its stripes and dancing teddy bears. I do think Jeremiah chooses his right sock and left sock quite deliberately to elicit the biggest smile and the most sublime or jolly pairing. Or perhaps he just reaches into his loose-sock drawer to see what fate will bring.
March 11: This evening, I gazed at the book on my table, with the bookmark tucked just a few pages in. I reflected on the famous opening sentence: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” I thought of her day and the flowers. Suddenly I thought of my day and my flowers. Dashing to the car, I rescued the bouquet I’d whimsically purchased before lunch. Once again, saved by literature.
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