The cherry tree is in bloom, the azalea, too. You can't make them out in these photos, but in the distance, beyond the yellow chairs, near the barrel, are a spade, a rake, a hoe. I'm not going to touch them! The weather is too soft and mild to work. Have you ever come upon your life and been surprised? I'm startled when I go into the garden and see the results of years of planting or when I open a drawer filled with things I had forgotten.
Less interesting are those automatic recollections and associations. If I eat sturdy lettuce, like Romaine, I almost always remember an aunt who would condemn all vegetables that had substance with the word, "Tough!" How dull: these automatic recollections that never change. Surprises, involuntary memories are better--the shock of seeing a tree you planted twenty years ago come into full flower, beyond you; a sudden memory of being caught in a storm, waiting it out in a car under a bridge, that black rain-slicked car, the beloved people with you, the smell of that long ago rain.