This morning the warming air hangs on the horizon, softening the view.

I walked by a house being remodeled. I walked into the driveway, into the backyard, hoping to peer into windows. But every window was covered from the inside with brown paper. They’re painting inside, I tell myself.

I look at the new portico, meant, most likely, for wisteria. I look at the new covered deck, meant for drinks and shade. I look at the siding, newly primed and waiting for paint.

I cannot see inside to where, most likely, there is new wood and granite. I cannot see the changes, but I know the builder, know the quality of his work, the excellence of his taste.

And for now, that must be enough.

Roses and Rosemary

It’s gotten cold here again. The sky is gray and the wind is blowing. The yard grows bare. Most of the four o’clocks have died. Only one sturdy plant holds its ground. No blooms to be seen and even the black peppercorn seeds have dropped to the earth below where, come summer, bright fuschia petals will unfurl.

The gardenia bushes are still glossy green, though no fragrant creamy white blossoms are to be expected for months yet.

It is the rose bush in the corner of my front yard which surprises me. Long a shy and reluctant bloomer, now, due no doubt to some combination of cold and deeper roots, it flourishes. A lighter pink than my perfumed Maggies, which anchor the other side of the yard, the small roses run riot. They reach up over and through the fence, brushing the top of the rosemary bush.

On the other side of the fence, the rosemary bush nurtures tiny purple blossoms among the long, flat leaves which, when crushed, leave on my hands the smell of healing and remembrance.