Thursday, June 20, 2013


Returning to the spot where I dropped my walking stick, I stood and faced an Orange Bluet, sunning atop a smooth alder leaf. Only a bit longer than an inch, he braved my close inspection, eye-ing me, not nervously, but curiously. Equals, in a way, we shared a small space of green leaf, blue sky, and warm sun -- orange and maroon damsel and woman in bug pants and One Red Dot hat. More than 100 photographs later, he finally flew off between shots. Like that, gone. I would have been content to spend the day in his company.

When I got home, I started The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey, a remarkable book of illness and natural observation (reminding me in a small jewel-like way of Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge), and I felt that shock of meeting someone who reminds me of me. As beautiful as the Orange Bluet is, this book is more so -- in that the writer reveals the snail and herself through her observations in a way my blog does only rarely. With finesse and gentleness and hard seeing. I shall be sorry to let the book go.

A former student posted praise for her son's preschool teachers on her Facebook wall this evening, thanking them for creating a chronological, dated album of his artwork over three years. A treasure for remembering. Perhaps that's what this blog is: my own small portfolio.

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