On warm spring Saturdays Alma and Earle* and two friends would eat eggs cooked in orange shells over a fire and then drive down Bergey Mill Road to the East Branch Creek, a tributary of the Perkiomen; it slides and curves through shale and siltstone bluffs and deep shade. They gathered to watch the trees overhanging the stream. The migration in full-throated roar, iridescent Indigo Buntings and Scarlett Tanagers settled like jewels above the waters, resting and feeding. Sometimes they walked upstream in the middle of the creek, the birds calling and moving around and above them. As Alma told this story, she stood in the wonderful light of this early spring day and looked down into the valley. Her eyes were bright. She tilted her head and smiled.
Every memory rescued ensures a preservation of a world — one and another and then clusters of memories cleave to it until galaxies of remembrance appear, until a morning walk, fifty years on, becomes a glimpse of something quietly glorious on the upturned face of a woman in the sun.
*Alma and Earle Vogels, the mother and father of my wife, Patti