Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Not So Far From The Madding Crowd
We’ve been having what passes for winter in these parts. Chilly, some rain, grey skies. Wah, wah. Don’t hurt yourself rushing to commiserate. We’re wimps. We admit it. We have embraced our wimphood.
Saturday started out wet and grey, but by noon it was warm, and sunny.
So off to the wildlife preserve for a walk. I’m easily entertained. Point me in the direction of the trees and, as long as I have my camera and a notebook, there'll be no complaining.
It was bright and brittle and breezy out there.
I saw this handsome bird keeping an eye on the world from atop the highest dead tree.
A chicken hawk,maybe? He peered down at me disdainfully as I scrambled over dry, crackling scrub, risking life and limb for a better shot. For at least half an hour I craned my neck and tried to hold the camera steady. Wings would have come in handy. This blurry offering was the best I could do.
Underfoot I found this tiny, perfect shell.
Three of them would not have covered my thumbnail. Big bang? No way!
Can you see the sun glittering on the palmettos?
And hear the breeze whispering through the dry grasses? And how about the lazy drone of that airplane overhead? It’s so peaceful here. Barely ten minutes from the hustle and bustle.
On my way home I’ll go visit the Ancient Ones. And sit on their couch and listen to the tale of what they cooked today, and what's on special at the supermarket; what aches, and when the next doctor appointment is; what percentage chance of rain the weathermen are predicting, and what outrageous things liberals are doing now; and exactly how cold it is in the frozen north and how snug and smug we are down here......
Walking in the wildness balances that.
They would like me to sit with them for two hours, but more than one makes me twitchy. They would never come here to walk, not even when walking was easy for them. There might be snakes here, and bugs. That alone would make it bad. Never mind that the snakes were here long before we were. I love the wildness of this place, but they would find it distasteful. Better to stay home, and make sure all the blades of grass are the same length; and the leaves are swept up and in the rubbish bin before they flutter quite all the way to the ground; where a lizard near the door is occasion for shrieking; where they tune in every evening for the gospel according to Lou Dobbs.
If I make it to my eighties I hope I won't still be fretting over offspring and in-laws. And God,if in my dotage I forget, please remind me to get my comfortable shoes on and go for a walk in the woods once in a while, with my camera and notebook, and maybe by then, my cane, and to thumb my nose at the doctors, and give the tv away to someone who cares what Mr. Dobbs is getting worked up about tonight......
But until then God, could you arrange for me to be a little bit more compassionate? Oh, and in case I haven't said so lately, thank you for the birds, and the grasses and the trees, the offspring and yes, even the in-laws, the OC and the Little Blister,innocent,hopeful grandchildren and scattered friends, books and quilts and bloggers, and laughter and sunshine......Don't be fooled by all the moaning and olagoning into thinking I'm not grateful.