July 12, 2013

By Corinne H. Smith

A typical Friday afternoon at 341 Virginia Road.

The sun was shining. Cumulus and cirrus clouds decorated the crystal blue sky.

The air was full of summer heat, but thankfully, not summer humidity.

A string of small planes eased down at the rear of the property, aiming for the east-west runway at Hanscom Field.

High overhead, larger jets in the clouds roared due east, on schedule to arrive at Boston’s Logan Airport.

A waste management truck picked up the garbage and emptied the recycling bins.

Mail was delivered.

Coneflowers and stands of Queen Anne’s lace turned to face the warmth of natural light.

Catbirds took turns calling – mewing — from a nearby thicket.

House finches chattered as they flocked above the house.

A green-bodied dragonfly landed on the page of the book I was reading.

Smaller blue-bodied dragonflies visited the garden, as did a number of flies and bees. So did an inquisitive groundhog, with his nose held up to sniff the air. He disappeared when I stirred.

A stiff breeze caught the leaves on the green corn stalks. They leaned onto and into each other and waved to the west.

A chipmunk ran across the porch.

A few cars drove by. A few bicyclists followed.

A tractor rattled through the working farm behind the house. A red-tailed hawk soon began to hunt the rodents that had been displaced by it. He caught several and carried each one to a nearby tree. When he had his fill, he sailed off toward Concord center. Two small birds nipped at his tail the whole way. His scream of annoyance echoed through the air.

To honor the 196th year of the man who suggested that we “Simplify,
simplify,” it was a perfect time spent among the lives — great and
small – who make their homes on Virginia Road. Happy Birthday, Henry.

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