Snowdrops in a human wasteland

We live in north Jersey, not far from landfills made famous locally by made families, and nationally by The Sopranos.

Part of the landfill has been reclaimed as DeKorte Park, and while folks around here pretend that the wetlands have been reclaimed, the chemical undertones at low tide expose its damage.

(I clam. I know the fecund smell of a healthy mudflat. It’s getting there, but the hint of halocarbons under the fecundity betray the spin of those paid to fool us.)

And here amidst the human damage bloom some snowdrops, a reminder that spring is coming and that renewal is possible.

But it’s late January and the snowdrops come too early now.

The blueberry patch

Three tiny twigs were stuck into the ground a few years ago, promising blueberries for a child before we knew they would not make it past their early womb.

The tiny twigs sprouted leaves and small branches, but were devastated by the bunnies. We built a small fence, hope over experience.

The twigs turned into bushes, and the child’s sibling was born three years ago. Birds got the few blueberries that dotted the branches the past couple of years while we waited for her to grow big enough to enjoy her blueberry patch.

Teeth and legs grew, and now our grand baby was ready to harvest “her” blueberry bushes, one she believes she planted, and who am I to doubt her?

When the berries were still green, we covered the plants with bird netting. She waited and waited and waited, and this weekend the blueberries were ready.

Together we removed the netting, and I picked her up over the now battered rabbit fencing, and she lit up as she picked blueberry after blueberry after blueberry, most destined for her belly, a few given to me.

And yesterday she invented the blueberry game.

Eating a cherry

On the way to school, in the rain.

Despite the concrete, the asphalt, the bricks, the steel, the general busyness of a patch of Earth with more people than sense, Bloomfield is part of what once was a vast temperate forest.

The trees remember.

On the walk to school, mulberries beckon. On the walk back, I gnosh on a cherry or two.

Om the way back–they may already be carbon dioxide again.

Absolutely free, absolutely delicious, absolutely unearned.