Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Lizards of Spring

It's about this time of year, when the thunder is heard in the distance, like a car hitting the side of your house. It comes crashing up suddenly on a day when you thought it might rain but just weren't sure. Those are the early spring days that you like to go out and dig. The ground is soft from the rain last night and the glare doesn't hurt your eyes.

It's a gentle sort of day, but an unpredictable one. It's like a lover you know you should drop but can't. Because they are usually so pretty or sweet or kind. But you're never quite sure when they are going to go apeshit on you and punch a hole through the living room wall. That's the sort of day you find spring lizards.

And you never know where you will find them. They are special that way and you uncover that wet clammy earth with your shovel and there it is. All red and black and shiny.

Belated you worry that you have hurt it. You wonder if the shovel nicked it and you are always a bit afraid that the shovel has cut it in two. So you pick it up, expecting to find a soft, wet, pliant body. But it's not any of those things. It's sinuous and strong and if you aren't careful it will bite you.

And that's just how it is with spring lizards. It's how it is with some people, too.

When I was a child, my big brother and I would go down to the spring house to find them. I would squat on my haunches and look under rocks for them. The harder you looked the less likely you would find one. Salamanders, they are, and love the damp places under rocks. They don't like the light.

The light shows them in all that red, black and shiny truth.

I'd gather some watercress to take back to grandmother for sandwiches made on salt-rising bread with mayonnaise so as not to go back empty-handed.

And that's just the way it is with spring lizards. And some people too.

They just aren't what they seem.


  1. seejanemom said...
    "Beauty is only skin deep. Ugly is to the bone."

    Jane's PaPa Jim

    He was right.
    googiebaba said...
    Oh Rosie, Rosie, Rosie, what have done to me. First, I had to READ, and then THINK, and then come up with something to say. I have a feeling, I am going to be upset.

    Well, I gave my two cents.
    Hayden said...
    great read, Rosie.

    We don't have pretty red ones like you. Or at least I've never seen them. We do have very small brown ones, delicate and charming. They don't bite, they just freeze and hope you'll think they are a bit of twig.
    seejanemom said...
    Oh...my favorite thing is finding HALF of a sleepy frog on my early spring shovel....it makes me SOoo SAD!

    Now I take it slow and careful.

    HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!! I am borrowing your daffodil from last week (and giving you veiled credit to protect the innocent)to celebrate.
    Rosie said...
    Thanks, Googie, for looking into that and commenting. I know that was difficult for you. It's difficult for me. It's not like we don't recognize persecution when we see it.
    Anne Johnson said...
    What a great post!
    bluemountainmama said...
    those spring lizards didn't stand a chance when they showed up at the children's home where i used to work......we had some pretty emotionally disturbed children, if you catch my drift....

    and i believe there is much meaning underlying this post that doesn't have anything to do with lizards.....
    kaliblue said...
    Your so right about them lizards and folks Miss Rosie.
    Some folks can be purty slimy. (I think I'm reading between the lines on this one. Not sure it's what you maybe meaning though, but kinda what I'm getting from it) :-).

    When I was little and we lived in South Carolina, I used to catch these lizards I called Johnny Rockets. Of course they were poisonous (the best kind to catch right)?. *LOL*.

    Have a great day ((Hugz))!!!!
    BBC said...
    True, many folks are not what they seem because they put forth what they want you to see. Many of them are really big fakes.

    Didn't have lizards in my youth. I used to go out and look for salamanders at times though.

    It's a little cooler than I would like it here, but it isn't bad. I deal with nature, nothing I can do about that.

    I'm just God, not Mrs. God.
    Karen said...
    Rosie--I gave my two cents at Original Faith, too--

    I feel strongly about this issue, and it always disappoints and angers me that people use God as a reason that it's okay to alienate and hurt people.

    I have lots to say about this--
    Jbeeky said...
    Ain't that the truth. I look at my son and wonder what lizards will slither up to him in his life.
    erin ambrose said...
    i have yet to see any salamanders....boo....but we do have horny toads...which are quite spectacular! and lots of snakes that emerge from beneath my house in spring.
    johnieb said...
    I'd like to thank the Salamanders, who endured the light to display their beauty, and to the God who made them: femme, butch and Holy Whatever.

    Some kinds o beauty is skin-deep; others aint.

    JohnieB's Mama and Daddy.
    johnieb said...
    Oh, and Googie, I have a blogbud who may know you, or want to; her wife is expecting their first.
    googiebaba said...
    Hey johnieB, I would be happy to talk to your friend. She can email me at googiebaba at yahoo dot come. Or visit me at http://www.momandmama.blogspot.com/

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