On Monday, May 8, 2023 at about 11 am, edt, I’m sitting outside on this beautiful spring morning, thinking about the joyfulness inherent in the Now.
Tweety, my hen, is beside me on this improvised bench. She is preening her feathers, and now has moved to my crossed thigh, where she will probably sit until I make a move. Speckles, my 11-plus-year-old rooster, just crowed from behind me, so I know he’s okay.
Lollipop, the stray cat, who will let me feed, but not touch him, is visible on the driveway steps over there, having eaten a good breakfast earlier this morning.
Otherwise, all is blessedly quiet enough to hear birds twittering in the trees, and squirrels fussing and conversing in squirrelspeak.
Human machine noise, but for that airplane overhead, is minimal, thankfully, at this time of day, after rush hour traffic has abated, and before the loud machine addicts get out their power tools and before the Gun Clubbers decide it’s too peaceful for their comfort levels.
I’ve been reading on-line about the human dramas carried out in never-ending cycles, such as the British coronation of King Charles III, and the fact that son Harry, Duke of Sussex, showed up for the event but left immediately afterwards, to return to his family in California, for the fourth birthday of his son, Archie.
Does any of this matter to the twittering birds, or to Speckles, now settled in the sun-dappled grass at my feet, commenting on shadows of large birds overhead or the cardinal that just visited the dead lime tree over there?
Specs is a talker, when he is not crowing, dirt bathing, or eating. And Tweety has disappeared under the building, but Specs would know if she was in danger.
Lollipop has not budged. He will probably lounge on that step until the sun gets too intense for him.
Thus do I capture moments of peacefulness, scattered through the day but easy to discount amid the chaos of human busy-ness.
Just so you know we are in our separate ways kindred spirits I offer you this:
Close Encounters Of The Feathered Kind
It was mid afternoon as I sat by the riverbank,
On a hot summer’s day with the sun still quite high
Amid knotgrass, buttercup, bistort and redshank,
There were no birds aloft in that still sky;
Perhaps it was too hot to fly!
The river poured past without making a sound,
I could hear noisy sparrows – they argue all day,
It seemed there were no other birds to be found,
Then, slowly, a large silent shape drifted my way;
The floating white bird had nothing to say.
The swan glided past with its neck arched proudly,
When out of the hedgerow a pheasant blundered,
Yet another close by, crackled quite loudly,
The peace and tranquillity instantly sundered,
Had the swan noticed I wondered.
Unseen till now, much further along,
A heron stepped lightly in search of its prey,
Behind me a hedge dweller burst into song,
Well hidden I stared at the tall bird in grey;
If he sees me, he’ll fly away.
I watched him intently as he tiptoed in view,
A startled moorhen gave the great grey a fright,
His vast wings unfurled and away he flew,
Waving his wings slowly I watched him in flight;
And pondered on where he would alight.
As I waited quietly on my green patchwork mat,
I glimpsed a quick flash to one side of me,
A kingfisher came yards from where I sat
And perched on a branch of a leafless dead tree;
He was a most colourful sight to see.
His plumage was vivid in contrast with the river,
The bright blue and russet set him apart,
A sudden light breeze made the reed beds quiver
And the rich tinted bird flew off like a dart;
So I sat alone as I did at the start.
But not alone, as you know . . .
I enjoy such welcome peacefulness when I’m outside gardening.