Rosehips on Mt. Agamenticus
Bone dry weather, beautiful but the pond level is very low, the grass tawny and plants wilting. A cool front went through today without rain. We are poised at September’s edge. Green will age to gold, or catch red fire. The crows’ cracked voices are a dry song and the crickets play fiddles in the night.
I feel kind to the things that are only alive for the season, like the lightning bug I rescued from the kitchen sink today and took outside on a piece of paper. Then the cat and I watched it walk along the wooden porch railing on six black legs slender as eyelashes.
John took Laura to have her wisdom teeth removed this morning. It’s a day off from school, so with Labor Day a four-day weekend. I cleaned her room while they were gone, believing that healing is quicker without dust and clutter. She came home confused, incoherent, spastic-gaited, laugh-crying and bloody-mouthed.
“The laughing gas smelled like oranges,” she said. “I don’t remember anything.”
We changed lots of gauze. The twin ice packs are inside little pockets in a white strap-on band that goes under her chin and over her head and is chipmunky at the cheeks.
A couple of her friends and their moms came by for a visit, cheery with a chocolate milkshake and magazine. She showed them her stubby teeth inside a plastic package, two whole and two in pieces. C remembered bringing her son home after his wisdom tooth extraction a few years ago. He is a large, quiet, athletic kid, a baseball player at Yale now. He leaned out the window of the car and sang all the way home.
Anna is almost finished packing for college. Tomorrow is the day. Our livingroom is chockablock with boxes and bags. We parents reminisce about our own college move-in days, when we walked to school barefoot uphill through snow with a tattered rucksack slung over one shoulder and a fierce thirst for beer, I mean knowledge.
Wisdom remembers. Happiness forgets.
– Mason Cooley