When a group of people sing together, we make up a chorus. When birds do, it’s more like a whole symphony orchestra.
~ Laura Erickson, The Bird Watching Answer Book
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.
~ Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion
I woke up early this morning, as I do most mornings. Usually, after getting out of bed and attending to the morning ablutions and routine (feeding the cats, making tea), my practice is to listen in and watch the day as it awakens, followed by some yoga movement and meditation. Today I stayed with listening and watching. It was practice enough.
The rain was heavy at times, pounding on the roof and ground, splashing around in the pond. A Great Blue Heron waded around in the water, fishing for his breakfast. I don’t think he cared about or minded the rain. He was, after all, up to his feathers in water anyhow. I don’t know if he caught anything. He was quite still. Maybe he was listening and watching, leaning into the early part of the day, too.
A small murmuration of blackbirds flew overhead sometime during one of the lulls in the rain. There was no sunrise to watch, just a gradual brightening of the day. And then a darkening again as heavier clouds moved in. The sun remained hidden behind the clouds for most of the morning as the rain came in fits and starts.
At some point during the early morning hours, I joined Frank over at his place for his Farewell Music Fest. Frank will be leaving the blogosphere. I’m going to miss him. We go way back, in blog time. We have also collaborated on a few posts, his words to my images. If you have time, join the party. There is some wonderful music being shared.
I’ve also been catching up a little with you all. Reading about foggy days and mortality, sunny days and smiles, taking in some beautiful (gorgeous) poetry, and learning about the value of showing up. It’s a lesson that slipped my mind. Sometimes all you have to do, sometimes all you can do, is show up. And see what happens. My yoga teacher talks a lot about showing up, about trying things. “Let’s just try this and see what happens.” I think that’s good advice for life in general.
This week I’ve been out photographing bones, rust, lichens, dead trees, and decomposing leaves. It was a synchronicity of sorts, or at least I thought so when I read an article yesterday about how the Doomsday Clock has been set to 100 seconds to midnight. Make of that what you will. There are days when I read the news and let it be, whatever it is, because there is little I can do to change it. There are other days, of course, when the news makes me so angry that I feel as if my hair is on fire. It feels, at times, as if the problems are bigger than any small things I can do. Even so, small things matter. Everything changes so everything matters, maybe especially the small things.
My Mockingbird friend continues to show up when I whistle the first few notes of Ode to Joy. It’s always good to see him. I was afraid, for a little while, that he had gone Elsewhere. Our meet-ups are seasonal, sometime in the winter. He wasn’t here in December, or at least didn’t come to see me during that time. Then, one day in January, there he was, sunning himself on the branch of a sumac, turning his head this way and that as I whistled. Maybe some spring morning I’ll hear him whistling Ode to Joy.
The rain and clouds eventually moved out. Around noon, I think. I went out to see what’s what, to listen to who’s who, and to enjoy the freshness of the air. The scent was amazing, delicious. When I was out on my walk yesterday the air smelled of chicken poop. Either the wind was coming from the direction of some chicken houses or one of the nearby farmers was fertilizing his fields. I think it was the latter because we rarely smell the chicken houses. They’re far enough away that it’s not a problem.
The rain was heavy enough that there are streamlets running towards the pond, the marsh, and the creek. It was high tide when I went out. Because there is a new moon, the tide was higher than usual. There were no fish swimming in the woods, but there could be now. I wasn’t wearing my wellies so I thought it best not to stick around and wait for the tide to rise further and begin flooding the woods.
I reckon that’s about it from me on this now sunny Saturday. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. Sunset is scheduled for 5:17 PM. It’s in the 50’s today with a pretty brisk wind so you probably want to dress warmly. Layers are always a good idea when the weather is like this. I’ll be going early. I haven’t been out there in a while and I’d like to spend a little time meandering around.
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥
(If you follow me on Instagram, some of the photos might look familiar. My apologies for the repeats but I know not everyone is on social media.)
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,231) Listening to the rain during the early morning hours. 1,232) Listening to music over at Frank’s blog. I don’t listen to music often enough. I’m not sure why. 1,233) Speaking of music… Visiting with friends last weekend, listening to the National Philharmonic Orchestra at the Strathmore (a beautiful venue), and going to the Kennedy Center for the first time to listen to the National Symphony Orchestra for the first time. They played a beautiful piece at the beginning by a young composer from New Zealand. The piece was Rainphase by Salina Fisher. You can find it on YouTube if you want to hear it. 1,234) Afternoon sunshine. 1,235) Watching and listening to the water as it streams towards the pond.