March 17th, 2007

hopper_summer_evening

Crowded

The cutting and cleaning and trimming that's gone on next door has opened the view from my side window down the block to the orchard. I find that each time the local landscape is made less intricate by the removal of a tree, or a row of bushes or such, it seems much smaller. When I first moved here the block was quite dense with foliage which blocked most views, but the result was not claustrophobic. In fact it all seemed large to me then. Now that, over the years, so much of the planting has been taken out, I begin to feel almost cramped.

The windbreak beyond the orchard now appears to loom nearby, where once I thought it was distant. The houses, once largely concealed by bushes and trees even in winter, now appear to crowd on one another as houses typically do on an ordinary suburban street. Everywhere I look I picture the ghosts of vanished vegetation. It is only when night falls and once again renders the buildings obscure that I can feel the space around me. Until then, I close my eyes and imagine myself in an open field or on a busy city street, either of which provides a greater sense of spaciousness than does this street as it has become.


It's been so warm today that I feel justified using a summer icon. This afternoon it was bumblebees buzzing around the roses, and this evening it's apt to be moths fluttering around the porchlight. It's not even the equinox yet. Shameful.