There is no less holiness at this time – as you are reading this – than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.
~ Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
Yesterday something in the woods startled me. A small creature surprised me so much I nearly jumped out of my skin. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but I want you to understand how astounded I was when a Red-spotted Purple butterfly flew off a tree branch right in front of me. This is not a sight I expect to see in February.
It was an unseasonably warm day yesterday. In the upper 70’s and quite humid, it was more like late spring or early summer than February. Even so, where would the butterfly have come from this time of year? The wild cherry trees are still devoid of leaves. Do Red-Spotted Purples hibernate in winter? I didn’t find quite the answers I was seeking when I searched online, but did find a video with Tips on Finding Red Spotted Purple Hibernating Caterpillars so that sort of answers the question. The caterpillars hibernate. But how would a butterfly come to be a butterfly in the month of February? Maybe someone is raising and releasing them?
Today is not as warm as yesterday, but it is a gorgeous, gorgeous day. It’s the kind of day that lures me into spending hours outside. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing (occasionally gusting), and the temperature is in the mid- to upper-50’s which, for me, is just right. The air is fresh and light with just a touch of spring being carried by the wind.
Early this morning, I hung out some laundry to dry. One of the items I pinned on the clothesline is a commemorative t-shirt from the Women’s March on Washington. When I realized I would not be attending the march, I purchased the shirt so that the proceeds could go towards sponsoring someone who wished to go but couldn’t afford it. As I hung up the shirt, I got to thinking about trust (my mind wanders into odd places at times) and it occurred to me that I am not very trusting of my fellow humans, particularly those who voted for the Tweeter-in-Chief. I am wondering when and how that happened, and what I can do to change it. Awareness is a good start.
With trust on my mind, I happened to visit Carol who posted a video about trust that I think you’ll like. After you watch the video, you might want to head on over to Carol’s Ink Arts website to see some of her beautiful paintings.
I walked out to the garden today for a little while to visit with the crocuses. Then I went back to the woods again, and out to the dock. I sat on the bench, looking out over the water and up at the sky. I could hear Bald Eagles chattering somewhere in the distance. Water sloshed against the dock and the shore, the marsh grasses rustled and swayed. The sky was mostly clear except for some wispy clouds that would appear and disappear in a matter of minutes.
A lone Turkey Vulture circled by and as I watched him or her, three more joined in the circling. As I always do when the vultures draw near, I reminded them that I am not dead yet.
I eventually made my way back towards the gardens and the pond where I had a seat on the bench under the wild cherry tree. I could hear schools of fish splashing in shallow water. The Kingfisher, who is usually around to scold me for being in his space, was nowhere to be seen today and that reminded me that there have not been many birds around this winter.
We usually have a lot of migratory birds spend the winters with us. I looked at pictures from this time last year and we had huge flocks of blackbirds visiting in February. Thousands of them would come by to eat up every bit of bird seed we would put out. Every now and then I’d have to go out to chase them away so the little birds would have a chance at the food. This year there have been very few birds at the feeders. The goldfinches visit the thistle feeder, but the other feeder has been emptied by a squirrel rather than visiting birds. The blackbirds must be Elsewhere. The fields around here are usually filled with snow geese and tundra swans, but not this year. They must be Elsewhere, too, along with the flocks of juncos and warblers that usually spend some time in our woods.
Perhaps the mild winter has kept the birds farther north of us this year.
I reckon that’s about it for today’s meander. Thank you so much for dropping by and meandering along with me. Let’s watch the sunset from the dock today. It’s scheduled for 5:47 PM. We will need to be there about 20-30 minutes before that or we’ll miss the sun slipping behind the trees.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 126) Crocuses smiling in the grass and garden. 127) The hint of daffodils to come. 128) Blue skies and fresh breezes. 129) The cawing of crows. 130) Benches to sit on while I ponder life, the universe, and everything. Or sometimes, ponder nothing at all.