Jackhammers, sunshine and duck eggs, all welcome

A parade of trucks and heavy equipment arrived down at the corner an hour after sunrise. A jackhammer pounds with ear-splitting force and metal keeps scraping concrete. Even the most grating sounds of life are welcome these days.

A bird outside my window just chirped in agreement.

It is a Carolina wren, a small noisy bird sporting a dazzling array of rich, earthy browns.

A lethargic cloud cover finally pushed on a few days ago. People leaned out of windows, flung open their doors, pumped their fists in the air and wildly cheered the arrival of the sun. Not really, but we should have. Sun therapy. We could all use a session—warmer rays, bluer skies, brighter colors, renewed hope.

The pandemic continues, yet the magnolias have remained resolute and undaunted, once again gracing the earth with saucer-size blooms radiating pink.

Snap peas have been tucked into the soil in neat rows. I check on them every day. I’d have time to pull up a chair and watch for them to sprout if I wanted to.

Surely there will once again be small hands pulling pods off the vines and popping peas directly into their mouths. Eating peas directly off the vine is a communal affair here. No pea has ever been eaten alone. Small consolation that is to the peas.

The raspberry bushes show new green growth, a good sign since they were recently transplanted. I move plants like other women move furniture. The raspberries are in a new bed with a big plastic owl standing guard. A robin has taken to perching on the owl’s head and a squirrel frequently swings by to take a few swipes at the new starts.

We would fire the owl, but there are already far too many out of work.

Peonies are breaking ground, eager to unfurl. Giant red, white and pink ruffled flowers will bust out the end of May. Hopefully, we will all have busted out by then.

I have saved the best for last—eight ivory duck eggs with just a hint of green and tiny brown flecks. One of our girls and her daughters discovered them nestled beneath their lilac bush.

Naturally, their first question was, “Can you eat duck eggs?”

The answer is yes, they have larger yolks and denser nutrients than a chicken egg and are very popular with the paleo crowd.

The second question was, “How do you know there’s an egg inside and not a baby duck?”

“You’d have to break one open and have a look!” Screams and squeals on the other end splintered my phone. The duck eggs are safe, as I knew they would be, and will rest undisturbed.

I have requested, after the eggs have hatched and the ducklings are ready to leave their mother, that they map out the route to our house and point a few in our direction.

The peas are lonely and long for company.

The peas speak for all of us.



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