evening under the nut trees

10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

O chestnut tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
~ William Butler Yeats
(Our Secret Discipline: Yeats & Lyric Form)

Yesterday I finished writing and scheduling the next three blog posts, and then went off happily to a cookout at Nate & Shea’s. We’re trying to squeeze in as many visits as possible before they move away… My plan was to “coast” for a few days, by responding to comments here and catching up on my reading and commenting on other friends’ blogs…

The pictures are of the branches of  a pair of nut trees in the front yard of Nate & Shea’s house. Most of the leaves, and zillions of the nuts, had come off during Tropical Storm Irene. Nate was using a snow shovel to clean the nuts off the lawn after the storm. The trees looked so sculptural in the cloudy light.

10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

The sun came out after a while and Tim & I started playing badminton with four little guys, ages ranging from 2 to 7, and we were having a blast teaching them how to serve and we were all darting around trying to hit the shuttlecocks. Well, apparently I dove too far or tripped on one of those nuts or the edge of the sidewalk, and next thing I knew I was down on the ground, my body on the cement and my face down in the grass and soil. It’s a good thing we’ve had so much rain lately and the ground is really squishy. Tim said there was an imprint of my face left in the ground. I felt disoriented, as if I had been rudely awakened from sleep.

My right hand got the worst of it! It’s a sign of our times that my first thought was not how hard it might be to write, but how hard it might be to use my mouse! My mouse-hand! Shea gingerly bandaged the wounds and gave me an ice pack and I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening under the trees, gathered around the fire and the music – I love Nate’s Pandora Radio station – we seem to have the same taste in music. Ate dinner with my left hand. My right shoulder and arm are feeling very sore this morning, and my hand is very swollen! But nothing seems to be broken or in need of stitches and it looks like typing – I type with two index fingers anyway – and mouse clicking will not be too much of a problem, since I can leave the bandaged pinkie hanging off to the side…

10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.1.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

10 thoughts on “evening under the nut trees”

  1. Oh Barbara – I’m so sorry for your fall and the hurtful mouse-hand. I’m a Pandora fan too. My station is based on Gary Stadler’s CD “Fairy Lullabies” (and similar music). Ohhhhhh, you would love it – I promise!

  2. Hi,
    I’m sorry to hear about your fall, and I hope your hand will be back to normal in no time. Isn’t it strange that when we hurt our hands it always seems to the be the hand we use the most that gets damaged.

    1. Thank you for your well wishes, Mags! I’m just so grateful that my face didn’t hit the cement! I’ve got bandages on both hands but the right hand is worse off. I think the hand we use most is probably the one that automatically tries to break the fall…

  3. Barbara, I’m hurt to hear about your tripping down 🙁 I haven’t seen the chestnut trees until now, thanks for sharing the pictures! but, do take care of your hand. Typing too much might make it worse, I guess you can take a few days off from the computer. what say? (I’m feeling like giving an oil massage gently for your hand, I wish I could)

    1. Thank you, Sonali! I’m glad you liked the chestnut trees – with the light they seemed enchanted, somehow. I’m resting my fingers from the typing every once in a while and Tim’s been helping by carrying stuff around for me. But I doubt I could stay away from the computer for too long! Ohhhh – an oil massage sounds much nicer than the ice packs I’ve been using! 🙂

  4. Ack! The mouse hand is a very important hand!

    Glad it was nothing serious…it’s so easy to take our good health for granted.

    I see lots of horse chestnut trees here in the Ohio woods, particularly in the under-canopy. It’s enjoyable to learn about the things all around us in the natural world, bit by bit, as it adds up to the huge tapestry that is our world.

    1. Thanks, Tracy! I’m renewing my appreciation for all the grasping and gripping and weight-bearing a hand is used for every day.

      It’s nice how every once in a while a certain kind of tree or plant or animal captures our attention and inspires us to go do a little research on its natural history. My brother-in-law is a botanist and I must annoy him when I keep bringing him samples to identify. 🙂

  5. Hi Barbara. Hope your hand is some better. It seems poetic (but not funny) that we used to play a game with horse chestnuts called ‘conkers’. It would have been a dangerous place to stand during the storm with all those chestnuts raining down! Jane

    1. Thank you for your well wishes, Jane! It’s been nine days since the injury and my hand has improved a great deal. Still need a bandage on one spot and the bruises keep turning all sorts of pretty colors. 🙂

      I’ve heard of conkers! A English friend explained it to me once. Those horse chestnuts seem full of potential dangers – I understand they are inedible, too…

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