The Groove was noticed Peninsula-wide today. Not so surprising when you remind yourself that spring is coming. Grooving is what a sunny day requires.
There are back-lit tender leaves in alleyways, along crooked avenues and at the shore -- tiny flags waving at the vanguard of change. Time is dancing to funny little rhythm. Winter is shuffling away like an old dog.
I drove a different route to get to the usual destination at midday today. Residents have been working diligently in their winter gardens these past few months, and now the hard work is paying off: Everywhere is vigor, growth and burgeoning color.
I happened by El Estero Lake and saw a curious sight. A young woman and a duck were out for a walk together. She was blonde and the duck was brunette. That is, it was decked out in its spring plumage of brindled brown feathers with pert tail waggling now and again. It was in the lead, on a leash, and was looking neither right nor left, simply forward along the lake's edge. Well, I thought, why not take a duck for a walk? They were moving comfortably and had no sense of struggle or idiocy about them. Rather, they were rather contemplative and placid, certain of where they needed to go and uncommonly familiar with each other even though the sight was certainly uncommon in the world. True groovers.
I mentioned the lady and her duck to the clerk at Grove Market today when I picked up something for lunch. "She's been around for a long time. She carries the duck in a dog carrier on her bicycle and rides all over the place." We all smiled and considered the idea of walking a duck, instead of a dog, for a change. It became the iconic pet to represent that je ne sais quoi, anything is likely and definitely possible feeling that comes 'round again as the days grow longer.
The clerk went on to say that one day a woman had come into the market with her small horse, a "Helping Horse," miniature in stature, but, still, a horse. "She needed it to lean on." The clerk demonstrated the leaning posture of the horsewoman. "She brought it all the way into the produce section and it started munching away. We had to throw a lot away. But, she paid for it."
The innocuous silliness that Spring brings -- in smiles and renewed belief in whimsy -- caught me up as I was approaching the checkout stand at the market. I bought some Peeps. There they were, peeping out at me from their cellophane and cardboard package, looking no sillier than a horse in a market or a duck on a leash. What reason more than that do you need?
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way