The Blue Door


 Spring is the right time to paint your door blue. I worked on things today that might have felt frivolous in the summer or fall: I cleared the poison ivy from a long-neglected rose bush, cut and arranged three kinds of daffodil, and painted my front door. I napped in the sunshine with my belly to the sky and I walked through the pasture to the house next door.

The daffodils still come up in the spring along each straight edge of a long-gone path to the steps. Who lived here once? This house and ours are close together by country standards, and similar in design. In the present, our nearest neighbors are a mile on either side, but this house is the last ghost of something of a neighborhood. The occupants must have been friends or kin to the Lyles, the original owners of our place. Did they work in each other’s gardens and picnic in the pasture together? Did they borrow this and that and forget to return it and eventually forget who it belonged to to begin with? Did they fight and feud and make up? Did their kids play together in the woods? There are stories in the short, pretty walk across the pasture.

Spring is a season of thresholds. Everything is on its way to being something else, and everyone is on the road. A couple of friends rolled in late on Monday night and were gone in the morning like the last frost. We have other guests right now too, though these are less welcome.


The ladybugs sound like a heavy rain, smacking their bodies against the windowpanes to reach the sun. They drown themselves in our tea and crawl up our legs at night. Sean claims he pulled one out of his pocket at school the other day. They get into our towels, and, when I got out of the shower this afternoon, I accidentally crushed one against my body and choked on its sharp odor. I think we’re going to try vacuuming them up and letting them go in the garden.
The garden, too, is on its way to being something else. It’s in that phase just before everything springs out of the ground in spades. The lettuce is growing slow now, but it’s eager, and the more it grows the faster it will become. Plants are wonderfully exponential.

When Sean got home from school, we gardened. He tilled while I raked, and we each took a turn mulching the aisles with straw. I planted cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower starts from the feed store, and we tucked in a row of onions together.



screen door swings the breeze
halfway through this blue doorway
laughing with goosebumps

3 thoughts on “The Blue Door

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