It rained heavily today for a few hours. I watched the baby groundhog that always seems to be outside my bedroom window; there were two today, before the rain, though only one of them noticed when the window frame creaked as I leaned on it–cocked its head and looked towards the house, thinking and seeing who knows what. Last year, a previous generation of small, flexible groundhogs descended on my vegetable garden–just when the crowns of broccoli were starting to emerge, the rows of radishes showing their heart-shaped leaves in perfect rows. I never managed to fence them out; only when I caught them once, scampering and squeezing out of the bed as I came around, did I see how they had managed to fit beneath the fences and through the netting. Their (larger, rounder) mother joined them in the backyard; I’ll never have the heart to clean up the tangle of stones and shrubbery that seems to house them in the wildest corner of our lot.
Another time, from the same bedroom window, we watched a spotted doe try to nurse from its mother as she stood, grazing. She kicked it with one of her rear legs.
I’m never completely happy with these little fragments of writing–and it feels odd to send them out into the world with that ambivalence. But isn’t that what we’re always trying to help our students do–to out the words down, get them out, and send them on their way before the self-doubt pulls them back? Revision, yes, but first, just words.