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The Budding Trees

Photo by Carol Bergman
I managed to get away for a few days after the end of term and I am still away as I write this. It's chilly, the fire was on when I arrived at my daughter and son-in-law's house in upstate New York, but the sun was out.

This morning I was up with the light, wrote in my journal, listened to music as I read the awful news from Nepal, called an editor in London, took out the compost, let the chickens out (there is one rooster), forgot to collect the eggs, fed the dog, walked with the dog down a quiet country road, had a yogurt and strawberry breakfast (the strawberries frozen from fresh picking last summer), made a phone call or two, checked my e-mail, had a Facetime conversation with my husband in the city (partially a business call about our small, family-owned publishing business), and though this all seems busy, it did not feel busy, nor is it late, just mid-day right now. Life here is just as productive as in the city, more so probably, because there is less distraction. I move through the day slowly; it is very quiet.

I wish I could be here all the time, but I cannot. Even the drive over the mountain above the tree line revives me. I drive in all weathers and experience--viscerally--the change of season.

I feel blessed to be able to come up here to refuel and let my mind drift. I'm working on another collection of short pieces as they occur to me. This will be called either "Nomads Two," or "Nomads Redux." I have about forty already, not all of them usable, but it seems to be a format that works for me, a distillation that enables me to improve the precision of my writing and keep the writing muscle supple, especially during term time when I am so immersed in my students' work.

But the late spring and summer is for my own work, usually fiction. I want to start another novel. I've already done some research, taken notes, visualized characters. Like the flora at this time of year, my ideas are slowly budding.

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