Saturday, August 4, 2012
Outside on the porch, I sipped my coffee and waited patiently for my brain to boot up. I sat down my coffee cup and stretched as hard and high as I could to the sky. It made the fibers in my body thrum and legs tremble in a delicious way. A locust, lying on its back seemed to be dead, but when nudged gently with my foot, immediately popped back to life and began flying in place on the ground, intermittently letting out little happy seeming chirps. He was working so hard, wings beating furiously, but getting no where to my accounting. I mused a bit at how often life can seem like his futile efforts but then realized, he may just be exercising and waking up himself, his own version of stretching to the sky, while tethered to the ground. I bet he wished he had some coffee, or whatever it may be that locusts like in the morning.
A pair of tawny mourning doves fluttered down to land on the craggy rock wall that surrounds the oak tree in the front of my house and spent some time, crooning to each other and looking about wide eyed. I like the small, pleas and murmurs they make to one another while preening. They gave me the once over with cocked heads and big eyes and then continued about their morning, first one, then the other following. When they took to the air, little sounds escaped from them with each wing beat that seemed to tell each other and me, "It's alright. Life is good. Good morning, world." I am glad they dropped by to say hello.
Scampering and rustling from the north caught my ear and attention then and I watched three squirrels chase each other around and round the trunk of my maple tree. Way up into the lofty branches they would run, seeming to defy gravity and everyone else who couldn't climb and run around branches with the ease they found. Up and down, back and forth, every once in a while stopping to chitter at each other and then resume the frantic, joyful chase. One came down to the ground and began some strange hopping, fluttering dance that made me think he just might be a future Olympic gymnastics team hopeful, until I realized he had found another locust that was just waking up and felt compelled to play with it. It amused me, so I watched for a while, trying to ignore the fact that at the end of the floor routine, someone was more than likely going to get eaten. The other two squirrels seemed content to just run, jump and cavort with each other. All was right in their little slice of life.
Sometimes I fall out of the habit of writing, not only here but also in my own journals. Time has a habit of moving onward and in the midst of it all, we get caught up in details, struggles and schedules and the next thing we know, another season has slipped past us. I certainly feel that way this morning. It is hard to believe that Autumn will soon be making her appearance. I often feel I lack anything of substance to write or share, when the truth is, my mind is always full of things I am pondering and mulling over. Sometimes I just need a little prompting or a spark to divulge the streams that keep moving below my surface. It is so easy to get caught up in the details and business of it all. At times, I tend to concentrate on what is wrong with this world, or what may be upsetting me. Those thoughts give way to some emotional wresting of words, and while those can be cathartic and healing for me, they are not what life is all about. There are so many other fantastic things to share and build community about.
Today I am going to take a lesson from the locust, a page out of the book from the mourning doves that visited and even from the three happy little squirrels that shared my morning. Once something wakes me up, I am going to beat my wings and vocalize, even if it doesn't seem to take me anywhere, to the casual observer. The exercise and sound will do me good. I will keep my eyes and heart open for one to take wing with. When I find him, I will make time to settle down and sing to him. There might even be some preening or cuddling involved, and then when one of us moves on, maybe this time, the other will follow.
And from those rambunctious and fun loving squirrels, I will take the lesson to keep playing. Wherever this game may take me, from the high thin branches that seem to scrape the sky, around all the limbs and places in life, I want to revel in the sheer inanity of it all. I am sure there will be laughter and more than likely a few tears. That is part of the balance of it all. I might just find someone on the ground different than me to play with, or I might just keep running in front of or following one of my own kind. I do know, if I don't get out with friends, with the intention of living, there will certainly be spaces, games and fun to miss. The loss is not only for myself and our pack, but for the others who may just be waking up themselves and enjoying the spectacle and beautiful thing that this amazing life really is.