Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

I'm not sure exactly when the snow started––sometime between when I pulled the blinds and climbed into bed and 5:30 this morning when Pip crawled under the covers and curled up against my chest while Olive perched above me and mewed into my ear, a plaintive, hungry sort of sound that was supposed to summon me from my pillow to make her breakfast. We've been sleeping with the windows open lately, and although they weren't open last night, I'd forgotten to turn the heat on so the apartment was cold. I wrapped myself in a blanket while I stumbled around in the early morning dim, the cats dancing at my feet in anticipation of food. When I pulled the blinds I had to squint into the brightness of the snow and the brilliant white light of the low clouds.

May Day here in Denver. A day that should have found us suffocating under the fragrance of fistfuls of flowers but instead welcomed us with January weather––cold and wet and white and nearly heartbreaking.

At first the snow, sticking to the grass and trees while refusing to settle more than a few seconds on the walkways and road, didn't seem like much. But it was wet, and as Duncan and I walked through it I knew we'd be getting the five to seven inches predicted last night on the news. We trudged along, snow falling down the collar of my shirt, piling up on Roo's back. The robins were still out, clamoring across the parking lot and in the yards, pecking at the worms which had made the mistake of climbing above ground in countless, writhing droves. They squawked loudly as we neared, hopped away until we passed and then resumed their breakfast. Duncan didn't seem interested in the birds or the snow, which is odd, but it was nice to hurry home, where the heat had been turned on and my tea was waiting, steaming in my mug.

By the time I got home ten hours later, though, it was different. The birds had scattered, the snow had piled up high, bending the branches of the trees, and Duncan couldn't wait to get out into it. He danced and whined and jumped while I changed my shoes, grabbed my gloves and scarf and prepared to venture out. And once we were at the park and he was off-leash, he ran and rolled like it was the first snow of the season rather than the last. We had the park to ourselves, which is one of my favorite things. We chased each other, kicked up clouds of wet snow, cracked the quiet with our whoops and hollers and barks, and delighted in marring the pristine blanket for any latecomers foolish enough not to venture out.

I do not like the snow and cold. I do not like heavy socks and boots, coats and scarves. I'm a lover of Spring and Summer, color, brilliant sunshine, and the glory of the Lindens and Russian Olives. But when I watch Roo, when I see his delight and the look on his face, I sometimes think I could live that way forever with him, witnessing and participating in the celebration that is his life.

Dogs make everything worthwhile. Better than that, even. They make everything magical.


Anonymous said...

He looks so excited for another romp in the snow. I see it's 19 there -yikes!
I laughed at your comment about the voices. We hear them, loud and clear!

Robert said...

Glory of the Russian Olive trees?!

I think the snow may have finally gotten to you!

I grew up down in the Four Corners area (not so far from Durango) and I despised the Russian Olives. Living on a farm that was gravity irrigated meant that along every ditch bank the Russian Olives steadily crowded out the Willows with obvious depraved glee.

Two inch long thorns, and dusty, musty smell that tickles the nose to sneezing. I mean, what's not to love?

Even the deer hated them.

Curt Rogers said...


My father would probably agree with you. He never has anything nice to say about them.

Russian Olives remind me of my youth in Idaho, the sweet smell bringing memories of childhood, my best friend, and summer nights, to mind. They are precious to me, beyond words. But, yes, I understand they are not lovely to look at.

I've written about them many times. Here's one post that explains what specifically I love about them:

As A.A. Milne said, "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."

Have a great day!

David said...

Smart dog. Duncan thought to take off his glasses so they wouldn't fog up.

Good boy!