Hanging out the blessings

In the sun-teased space 
beset by fellside breezes 
the trees a swaying circle
grown from my aunt’s bequest: 
tall cedars break the wind;
for colour poplar, oak, blue spruce;
I hang out different blessings 
on waiting washing lines.

I call them blessings now 
because of an epiphany 
when I was full of grumps 
at being importuned
to do this now and then do that; 
begrudging, but I did because 
the clothes do have to dry;
and yes, the air outside is free.

So there I stood, clothes- 
peg in hand, as flashing 
swallows darted under
nimbus clouds and bright blue sky — 
while life went on, as still it does 
within forgiving houses up and
down the ancient valley — 
coaxing out a smile.
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