The mayor of Gorillatown returned home midweek, for the first time since Christmas and for the first extended stay since leaving for college two years ago.
After kissing the dog and the dad, and talking to the goats, the mayor took a familiar seat in Town Hall — that is, halfway up the huge white pine in the middle of the wooded area that was dubbed Gorillatown when the mayor was a boy.
Growing up in the gardens and woods, without TV or internet, the kids made their own fun, mostly exploring woods, mountains and swamps, and naming all the groves and clearings, streams and rocks.
We have internet now, but it’s not dependable enough for things like remote learning. So when the pandemic canceled most kids’ on-campus college experience, the mayor stayed at school through the end of the semester. There’s no summer employment there this year, so back home it is.
My trip to Vermont was the first time I’ve strayed any farther than the feed store in almost two months. It was a surprise to see that spring actually has arrived in other places. At home we have the first hints of leaves on the trees, the forsythia has finally bloomed, but it’s still daffodil season.
In Vermont there are green leaves, lush grass and flowering trees. After loading all the mayor’s stuff into my car, we sat at a picnic table in the middle of campus and ate our lunch, surrounded by green.
Driving home we saw other signs of spring — baby calves on pasture with their moms, nursing or sprawled out on the grass. At home, the baby goats have left for a new farm, which means their mamas are in full milk production, and we are in cheese production again. Some of that fresh goat cheese was part of our picnic.
By the time we got home, the dad was milking goats and the two babies we kept were soon in the mayor’s arms.
I looked around for any new signs of spring. The haze of new buds on the trees seemed a little greener. A new section of the garden had been prepped for planting. At the end of the garlic row, where I planted some extra flower bulbs, two tulips had buds.
I sent a picture to one of my favorite garden buddies — my sister’s sister-in-law. She sent back a photo of her tulips — red, yellow, striped, all in glorious full bloom.
My sister’s sister-in-law lives a couple of hours south and pities us for our late spring. She was happy to send me pictures of her green yard, including the flowering tree she planted the day her brother — my sister’s husband, my brother-in-law — died, 15 years ago today. He was a gardener through and through, and he comes alive for us all this time of year, when seedlings burst from the soil, when flowers and hope bloom again.
So we talked for a while, about him, about flowers, seeds and garden plans. What will be coming up soon, what we hope to grow this year, in her garden and ours.
Back in the house and down from Town Hall, the mayor also talked about plans for the summer: what will be cleared out, fixed and improved in this old house before school starts again in the fall.
Spring is for plans, and the hard work it takes to make them happen. It’s good to have the mayor on the team again.
Greenpoint appears every other Sunday. Look for it next on May 24. Reach Margaret Hartley at [email protected] or @Hartley_Maggie on Twitter. Opinions expressed in Greenpoint are hers and not necessarily the newspaper’s.
Categories: Life and Arts