“Who can tell how lovely in June is the honey locust tree, or why a tree should be so sweet and live in this world?”
So begins the poem Honey Locust by Mary Oliver. It is mid-June now; next week will be the longest day of the year. I write this from a small park tucked in a small town in the North Country of New York. The days are long and lovely, and often rainy. The birds and the bugs are as active as they’ll be all year.
This morning I woke early and spent some time in the woods. I let the babbling brook wash over me, and heard the birds in their morning songs. Diamond tore up and down the trail next to me, behind me, in front of me. She has far more energy than I do in the mornings.
My time thus far back in New York has been staying in driveways and guest bedrooms. Last night my husband navigated Bevy down the rockiest dirt road we’ve encountered and we spent the night deep in the backcountry. It feels good to be back on the road, to be among the trees again.
I hadn’t planned to stay in New York this long again, and I still don’t know exactly when I’ll leave. Each day is its own task to be handled, and planning ahead only reaches as far as the night’s parking spot and my next grocery store. But once I leave, I won’t be back for a while.
The road, the summer stretches out before me and I haven’t been this excited since before I graduated high school. It’s been years since I had so much time to explore. I want to climb trees and flip rocks, spend long, lazy hours on the beach and jump into the water. I want to spend more time outside than inside this year, something that’s made easier when you don’t have air conditioning to retreat to.
A pair of crows is scavenging outside the van. Diamond is asleep on the floor as it rains, lightly and intermittently. I watch them strut and poke the ground, close enough to watch their black hue change from neck to wing. I love to watch them.
As Oliver said, “Everything in the world comes. At least, closer. And, cordially.”