Cedars, and Patches

Two sweet, short offerings to our loyal readers for St. Valentines Day:

Old Cedar, New Cedar

We have a big cedar stump in our dooryard from a tree that went down in a storm several years ago. It is 6 feet high and more than two feet across at the top. A baby cedar which is now several feet higher than the stump has sprung up from the root on the north side .

Yesterday the sun shining there enticed Patches to climb up to sun himself. Sasha joined him for a bit, but became aware of the big patch of snowdrops at her feet where many honey bees eagerly sucked up nectar from the flowers. She was uneasy so close to so many bees and reluctant to get down even closer. Eventually she managed to work herself down, using the new cedar on the north side for handholds and steps, and came to relate her worries to Mom and me.

I rejoice in the patch of snowdrops flaunting their presence in late January, a sign that spring is on its way.. I remember the blueberries and grapevine to be pruned. February will offer days when outside work such as pruning will be comfortably mild. How delightful it is to anticipate these yearly chores awaiting my attention in my 90th year.

Yesterday I bought a copy of some of Mary Oliver’s poems. Today I have been inspired to write something..

Patches and I went for a companionable walk between showers
on this last day of the used up year.
My unsteady 90 year old legs
were supported by a light bamboo cane.
His eager begs for attentive contact included
frequent rolls on the muddy gravel at my feet.
Patches, an almost grown kitten
was a present from my great grandchildren
after our 18 year old Muff had journeyed to cat heaven.
She was a beloved family cat who, over the years,
earned a special place in our affections
as well as honors in cat heaven.
Black and white splotches all over his body
make Patches highly visible
wherever he roams over orchard and pasture.
He hunts assiduously to supplement food offered
twice daily in his dish by the back door.
My heart always warms at the sight of him-
a splash of white- out there somewhere
about his business several times a day.

First published March 20, 2009 in Spencer Creek Storybook, a project of West By

Visit Lois Barton’s writer’s page for complete list of articles.

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