Saturday, August 12, 2017

Under the Canopy

Most days I walk in my neighborhood. I wonder if the neighbors are amused by my habits. In the summer, I walk one direction to have the sun at my back. During cooler weather, I reverse the route so the steeper hill comes first. On hot summer mornings, I zig-zag back and forth across streets to stay in the shade. I leave electronic devices at home. I look folks in the eye and greet them. Lately I've been noting the arrangements of porch furniture and pots on the small front porches. Many decorate these spaces but no one ever seems to enjoy them. Our porch is very small, about large enough for two flower pots. My dream home has a large wrap-around front porch with a swing and comfortable chairs and pillows.

This week I stopped to look up and into the canopy of trees. This morning I stood under the very dense, deep green canopy of a linden and the layered leaves of a maple. I stood in the sun dappled space under an ornamental pear and was almost hidden by low hanging limbs of a large oak. The sound of the breeze through the leaves is peaceful. I didn't have a camera. Honestly if I'd stood under trees and took photos, the neighbors might think I was really unravelling. At home, I stood still and breathed deeply from the canopy of a linden. A pair of chickadees flitted among the branches and called to each other. Across from me, a mama house finch fed a fledging. I discovered a hint of autumn in the yellow leaves. Despite the craziness in the world, the rhythm of the season continues. The trees stand in the rain, sun, wind, cold, and heat. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Every year they grow a little taller and stronger. I find all of this reassuring.

Earlier this summer, I picked up a copy of The Cottonwood Tree, at a used book store. It is on a list of 150 books by Nebraska authors created as part of  Nebraska's sesquicentennial celebration.After cataract surgery, I plan to read it and learn more about the tree.

In the meantime, I am knitting more than reading. Although I set these socks aside, I tried again because I wanted to learn how to knit an after-thought-heel. Never one to give up easily, I placed the sock on the table, held a magnifying glass with my left hand, and picked up heel stitches from waste yarn with my right. This first sock was a little saggy so I ripped it out. It was a tangled mess but I did manage to save the yarn.

This heel doesn't fit my foot as well as a traditional heel flap and gusset. However, I might knit it again in order to maintain the sequence of stripes in self-striping yarn. Yesterday I cast on the third sock of this pair. Three socks for the price of two - more knitting time from the same amount of yarn. I may just carry my sock and chair outdoors in order to sit under the canopy of the linden. The day is fair and the leaves are rustling in this sheltered space.


  1. A few days ago I laid in a hammock and looked up at the towering red pines that don't quite make a canopy but they do feel like strong protectors. It was so peaceful that I fell asleep. The perfect nap.

  2. I did a walk on Friday and walked looking up most of the time, identifying the trees (mostly black walnut). I do take my phone and I do take photos once in a while. I want a wrap around porch too! In cape may everyone uses the porch and sit and relax but around home no one is out. They are all not at home or inside hiding. Life is so busy for people it seems.

  3. What a lovely, delightful, relaxing weekend you had. On my walks, I am often standing on the sidewalk, with my camera posed towards the sky, catching a glimmer of sunlight through the canopy of trees or clouds floating overhead...A wrap around porch...have always wanted one. Perhaps in my next life...Love the idea of three socks and I'm very impressed with your one-handed tinking maneuver. Knit on!

  4. I've got that wrap around porch....and i wish i could share it with you. it's really a great place to knit the afternoon away!!! (i like a traditional heel better than an afterthought one, too....just feels better. Maybe, though, it's because i'm an old dog----and that afterthought heel is just a new trick to me!)

  5. What a wonderful way to go about a walk. Just taking in and noticing all the beautiful things around you.
    Yay for trying new things with your socks. As you recently posted in the group your finished socks, I know they worked out perfectly.
    I have tried all the heels and the classic heel/gusset seems to fit me better.