I keep a notebook of things I see around me, and often I see that the past feeds my present and gives me a sense of stability. Reliving certain times in the woods offers me a sense of permanence. I can read that This took place. This was. The experience will vanish with my ability to remember, to read or write, but still, I go back now , making that past the present this time.
Like June 10 of 2017, I wrote: “Throughout the village, the black mulberries are falling so quickly, and I see entire boughs collapsed into yards and streets so heavy with their sweet soft fruit.”
Or that date in 2015 I wrote: “Robins continue to guide their young with intense peeping. Sparrow fledglings sit by the bird feeder, flap their wings to beg for food.”
On the 10th of June in 1999: We drove from Utica, New York to Bar Harbor, Maine and I wrote: “We left and early summer behind, climbing into May. Bleeding hearts seen in New Hampshire. Lower Maine full of locust flowers, full bloom by the time we reached Augusta. East to Bar Harbor. Parsnips and hemlock and wild roses, blackberry flowers, wild pink roses, middle spring gathering momentum the farther north we went.”
So here today I think about repetition and repeating observations of each day year after year, and I understand how the more I see, the more each day seen becomes.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Early Summer and the third week of the Milkweed Beetle Mating Moon. In the meantime, look for milkweed…. And milkweed beetles and remember what you see in years to come.