Spring is a season of transitions.
After a full day of steady soaking rain, the air cools considerably; so much so that you can see your breath on this late April evening. I wait until the rain has tapered off to take the dog out.
Together we pad down the shiny wet street, past the flowering crabapple trees in the church yard, around the corner to the top of the hill, where yellow forsythia blossoms lie scattered on the sidewalk. Wild violets hang in clusters over the curbing at the edge of the cemetery. Sentinel rhododendron pods are swollen with the promise of spring.
As we descend the forest path to the river, the dog straining at the leash, the lonesome call of a mourning dove erupts—a haunting hallowed echo that resonates through the cool evening air.
In the village at the end of Main Street where the gravel road turns off toward the park there sits a tiny shingled house. At one time this structure served as the village train station, back when the railroad was in its heyday. The tracks are long gone; only a berm marks the former bed.
The man who lives there now works as a repairman. Occasionally, I see his old van parked outside the village auto shop. Sometimes I pass the man coming out of the post office, his work shirt pocket stuffed with a plastic sleeve of pens. His wife died earlier this month.
The auto mechanic told me that the repairman had approached him about dispersing his wife’s ashes out on the sound. The auto mechanic has a boat berthed at one of the marinas along the shore. The repairman has the old van, but no boat. The auto mechanic said he would do it. They would take off early one morning in the old van and drive down to the coast to where the boat was moored and head out to sea with the urn of ashes and cast them out over the water in the morning sun.
The mourning dove calls again, and I think about the repairman and his old van and his newly deceased wife and the matter-of-fact neighborliness of the auto mechanic. The dog strains at the leash as we walk along the path by the river to the pond in the park, then back up the gravel road to Main Street, where the tiny shingled house sits silently in the damp evening air.
The old van is parked in the driveway. In the shadows of the arbor vitae to the left of the house the side yard is blanketed in a soft wave of sky-blue Forget-Me-Nots.