Early Science – Pat Dutt

On a rickety dock that juts out into an Adirondack lake, my father, a big man, turns around so abruptly that he bumps me into the cold water, and I’m face down and so fascinated with the sand that I don’t think to breathe. I’m three years-old, and the lake bottom bursts with white, beige, clear and black grains, all glittering back at me. Someone pulls me out. Throughout my life I will call up the image of the sand and the clear water, and I will learn that the sand is predominately silicon-dioxide, Earth’s most common mineral. No tears as I am face-planted but I lose patience with the inch-long blood suckers that attach almost immediately to my legs. My older brother pulls them off.

I work as a landscape estimator in Ithaca, NY and although I am not a librarian, I visit the library often and read 52 books last year.

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