My dad used to say
in the garden
is out yet
you can see
My dad used to say
in the garden
is out yet
you can see
I make exceptions for certain people.
And always birdsong.
But this morning I would welcome the company of a serious bird brain, someone who could tell me who’s singing from the top of every tree, following me with very obvious intent to serenade.
The sound is too big for a chickadee dee dee dee.
And it’s not a robin, or a cardinal (& so ends my song recognition repertoire).
A botanist would be handy too. I’d ask what is this shrub in pink bloom that every year I swear I’ll make a note to go back and find when it’s fruiting so I know what kind of shrub it is and then always forget to check…
But the only person I see is a guy standing at the creek, facing the morning sun, just standing there, and then he raises his arms in salutation.
I recognize the impulse.
And so I walk very quietly by…
A side street off a main street.
A gravel driveway that curves left.
A mailbox, red flag down.
I notice it as I drive past at main street speed.
And in that split second
I remember you and me,
rows of strawberries,
laughing red fingered,
picking baskets of fruit,
early, early, early,
before the heat of another summer morning found us.
Open-eyed meditation this morning as I watch through the window and a break in the trees a cardinal preening, waiting for his date to the cardinal ball.
They fly off together and then a man in pale turquoise shirt and dark jeans gets into his car and flies off to work.
Nothing else for a while and cat #1, curled up at the very top of her indoor climbing tree facing the window, slowly closes her eyes while cat #2 finds a spot on the carpet to attend to her tail.
Ears perk up, mine too, when suddenly on a not so far away treetop the music of the cardinal ball begins… but it’s merely soundtrack to the contentment of a belly full of tinned turkey and kibble, and soon ears relax and all eyes close.
p.s. and yes, that’s a tulip in the pic
A happy long weekend to you!
Cosy on my couch with tea this morning.
And then the sky does something impossible to ignore.
So I walk to the ravine at the end of my street
and stand behind a juniper tree above the creek, and listen
to the silence of morning before birds, of nothing but moving water
and think how lucky to be in a place where silence calls you out to play.
How very very lucky indeed.
Happy new year, friends…
Here’s to a little more peace and kindness for all.
“There is always an element of sadness in celebration. We cannot celebrate without alluding to it, because there are people on this earth of ours who are not celebrating, who are despairing, anguished, starving and mourning. That is why all celebration should end with a silence in which we remember… all those who cannot celebrate…” ~ Jean Vanier
It hasn’t been perfect, true.
Whatever perfect is.
There have been sunsets.
There have been creampuffs (and the cages are rattling for more). There has been candlelight and firelight and tea on the patio and music and words spoken and read and thought. There have been ideas realized and hands held, rides on strong broad shoulders, and monkeys. Yes, there have been monkeys!
There was the ocean and the star that night and there have been birds and a fox, several rabbits, deer leaping over a fence, too many squirrels to count and their nests impossibly high and visible only when the leaves fall. There was a crop of garlic and green bean salad and all those fat, happy worms.
There was snow and there were snow angels and invitations and real mail in real mailboxes.
There was rain and the lake with its waves and tides and beach glass. There were stones.
*And now there are pomegranates to remind me of what is not nothing.
With thanks to everyone who was part of the everything this year.
Everything that was. And is.
The light and love of the season to you all (laughter and pizza implied).
See you in the new year.
The key is to write more than your name.
Write words. Thoughts even.
Write in ink. (or pencil or crayon or anything along those lines)
Sit down with your address book, by which I mean an actual book made of paper and cardboard that lives in a basket on your kitchen counter and which is dog-eared and generally beaten up.
Flip through its pages and see names of people you see and talk to all the time and some you haven’t spoken with all year.
So open your battered address book and begin.
Remember the woman you haven’t seen since the 80’s that you used to work with and once took an auto body repair class together. You had a rusty Dodge Dart. She made amazing rice. You haven’t seen each other or heard each others voices in more than thirty years. You don’t even email. The only time you’re in touch is at this time of year. By card. You’re up to date on events, if not inner psyches. (Not necessary to be up to date on every psyche.)
And your godmother who you never call often enough and friends across the country, and those who live an hour away but you only meet once a year.
You will find a man who turns 99 this month and still has all his marbles, and a woman who is 83 and has the smile of a teenager.
And the address of an old friend no longer around. You keep her name in the book anyway and every year you think what you might have written to her.
(In the past you may have chosen to drink rum and eggnog as you wrote but have since discovered you’re lactose intolerant and the rum makes your handwriting illegible by the time you get to the L’s in your address book.)
Options: Light a fire. Get cosy. Make tea or open a bottle of wine (see above). If it snows so much the better.
Go with a friend.
(Stop here for lunch. Have the kale and quinoa salad. Say hey to Debbie.)
Pay a visit to the French store and say yes to that bottle of almond milk hand cream that will not stop flirting with you.
Use pictures of the exhibit for this year’s cards. (If gallery approves said use.)
And even though you just saw the friend, send them a card too.