Thursday, September 15, 2005

To think that I saw it

When I set out for school each morn, my spouse says to me, "Chet, keep your eyelids up, and see what you can see."

But when I tell her where I've been and what I think I've seen, she looks at me and sternly says, "Your eyesight's much too keen. Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales."

Apologies to Dr. Seuss. But I'm feeling a bit like young Marco in the good doctor's story, To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. There isn't much to see in Marco's neighborhood, just a plain old horse and wagon. But Marco imagines all manner of things, culminating in a howdah-topped blue elephant galloping between two yellow giraffes and pulling a wagon with a seven piece band. What did you see? asks his father when he gets home from school. "Nothing," says Marco, knowing Dad won't believe a word of it.

I live on a Mulberry Street sort of street in a Mulberry Street sort of town, a domesticated suburb of Boston. But, lordy, what things there are to see.

Yesterday morning, at the fog-shrouded brook, a great blue heron took to wing not twenty feet from where I stood watching on the bridge. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. I dipped my head and applauded.

Then, a ragged vee of Canada geese, low, oaring through the misty dawn, clanging their great gong voices.

And again, the grazing deer, half-hidden in the fog of the Oak Meadow, as still as statues in a graveyard.

"Just draw up your stool," said my spouse when I returned in the late afternoon, "and tell me the sights on your way to school."

"Nothing," I said, growing red as a beet, " just a squirrel and a robin on Mulberry Street."