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.


Tanya Brown said...

There you are; I've been concerned about you.

There's a saying (I may not have it right), "Begin as you mean to go on." I can very easily imagine you tramping through the woods in your eighties, and I don't imagine your world will have contracted down to the size of a postage stamp.

Jess said...

Molly B!

What beautiful pictures!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

A walk in nature always reminds me of God's love and providence. Would have loved to have been on that walk.

Thimbleanna said...

Sigh. Love reading your posts Molly. I visit my parents often and it never occurred to me to suggest that we all go for a walk together. I'll bet they'd do it -- thanks for the wonderful suggestion!

meggie said...

Always love reading your words Molly. Dont have a god, but feel just the way you do.
I too, hope I am never reduced to feeling 'old' inside. I still think young! I still see the humour in poking a stick at the sacred cows of this life.

That shell was exquisite. Did you take it home? I think I would have.

Birdydownunder said...

good golly Miss Molly you suit me down to a T or should that be Tea and Biscuits, after the walk. Just catching up with your posts. take care, have fun, shock the Ancient Ones.

Tanya Brown said...

Apropos of nothing, don't worry about the "Quirky Things" meme if it doesn't inspire you or time is at a premium. Things like that shouldn't feel like an obligation; life has enough of those.

Thanks for the book recommendation; I'll look it up.

Ali Honey said...

Yes, I'll come too. I love those things too and it is amazing how having the camera makes one focus right in on the small or rare or beautiful or different.
Hugs from Ali.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Thank you for the walk. It was lovely. And yes, I did see the sparkle and hear the breeze and just below that, the drone of that airplane. I would have missed that perfect shell had you not pointed it out. And the bird...I believe you did have wings.
It is kind of you to spend time with the Ancient Ones. One honestly given hour is MUCH better than two hours given with resentment. It is true compassion when you can give to your capacity -- compassion for self and compassion for other.
You go girl!!

PS. Come on over and visit when you get a chance. I gave you an award.

riseoutofme said...

And so you should be grateful ... its not raining there, is it???

Pam said...

I'm sure I shall still be fretting about offspring in my 80s. Especially if Daughter 2 is still with her actor boyfriend...

But I hope I shall still be going for walks. Not anywhere snakey, though.

Great post.

fifi said...

What a beautiful post.

I always nagged my mother to go walking and looking like that, and she never seemed to want to do that. Now that she is sick I wonder if she wishes she could now.

I think the first breeze of autumn just blew in here today. I have been watching the light on the water, and thinking the season is just about to turn.

Thanks for the beautiful bird. i love him.

Unknown said...

I love the photo of the hawk. Looks like a red tail to me. I have been trying to get a pic of the ones (a mated pair) who are screaming in the trees around our house from time to time, but no luck yet. Hawks are messengers. I wonder what yours is saying. I wonder what ours are saying.

Unknown said...

upon closer examination of the photo, it looks a little more like a Cooper's hawk.