The walk to the Post Office was a lovely walk for the senses.
A profusion of greens dazzle the eyes: bright tufts of new growth at the tips of the deeper hunter green and Phthalo green of various firs and cedars. I look at a chart of green shade and there’s still not enough to name the wide range of green shades of the leaves cloaking maple, oak, birch, walnut, catalpa and poplar; the hawthorn, dogwood, sumac, alder and ash; fruit trees of apple, cherry, pear and plum (there are also many ornamental plum trees around town with burnished burgundy leaves) as well as the multitude of bushes and plants all vying for attention, so much green that if the air hadn’t felt sharp and cold I would have felt suffocated shades of green.
Shifting fragrances fill the air: a sharp, clear whiff of fir, and the heavier fragrance of lilac and irises. Passing a pile of green clippings a lingering scent of a warm sunny Saturday seeps upward. The uplifting, clean scent of rain and the creek rushing just beyond the glossy blackberry brambles flows in ribbon drafts. Roses. The house where a retriever lives has a row of neatly pruned rose bushes pushing out their fragrant blooms of reds and peaches catching me by surprise until I realize June is just around the corner. Leaning closer to red buds I close my eyes and draw in a deep breath of the nose-clogging perfume.
Further along the alley a faint pungent smell takes me by surprise. Even after all the years of living here it’s a smell I associate with ancient towering cottonwood trees doffing their fuzzy cotton, filling the air of a far away canyon in Northern Arizona. Shaking the scene of red sandstone cliffs from my head I enter the side door of the post office and walk into a world of orange scented cleaning solution and paper.
Though I’m walking with a gimp I’m in a hurry and am relieved to see that it’s the part-time worker who is friendly but reserved. I’m not eager to encounter anyone today and wish to avoid small talk and pleasantries.
The aging golden retriever rushes to the wire fence just beyond the weathered greying boards shielding his house from preying eyes. Almost daily for the past umpteen years he barks furiously at me while passing along the alley past his yard. Past the two birch trees planted twenty-something years ago, there are a number of white barked birch trees with their scattered around town. Birch saplings were a fund-raiser for some long past eighth grade graduation. A friendly man normally sits on the wide porch of the rambling old white house sheltered under a towering black walnut tree keeping an eye on his grandchildren and numerous town kids who tend to gather to jump on the trampoline and play in the yard, or street. We always exchange hellos but today neither he nor any kids nor dogs are hanging around the place.
A stiff wind whips at my skirt. Overhead an ominous black cloud drips small unstable pillow clumps. The leaves on the trees turn underside up to the skies, the lighter greens throwing back the filtered light edging around the blue shards of sky. Hurrying home before the clouds release their weight of rain I stopped just long enough to gather white lilacs and bring the last of this year’s sweet lilac scent into our house, my hands pleased by the tiny velvety blossoms. The door shuts behind me, the clouds darkly rumble and rain pounds the ground.
Lilacs with a Butan Collar knit with handspun tencel. While it’s fun to use Laura Nelkin’s kits, it’s also great to use handspun yarns with her pattern. This yarn along with more roving was gifted to me by Valerie of Fiberewetopia — isn’t that a great blog name — when she found that she didn’t care for the feel of the tencel. By the stiffer hand I suspect that it’s an earlier form of tencel unlike the soft, shimmery tencel of these days. Despite the somewhat “plastic” feel I love the bright raspberry color and it did soften considerably in the wash making it a great candidate for necklace knitting.