Recently, I did something I don’t do enough. I sat on our back deck in an Adirondack chair (not a real one, one of those plastic things) in the cool of the morning. If you don’t know anything about the weather in the middle of July in Arkansas, you don’t know what the cool of the morning means. It was around 8:00 or so, and I must admit, it was a bit cooler than what we often experience in our fine state this time of day. It’s not uncommon to be searching for the shade at 8:00 in the morning, as the mercury starts early on its journey for that 90-degree (32 for you Celsius folks) spot before noon. I’m writing this piece to tell you about some of the things I noticed while sitting and watching, the weather is the least of them.
I have probably described the scene on the backside of our house before, so forgive me if this is a bit redundant. Let me begin by asking you a question: When was the last time you sat quietly in an outdoor location and simply allowed nature to show its stuff? Although we live within the city limits, it sometimes seems as though there’s a competition between, we civilized types and the wild creatures that don’t want to give up their territory.
My faithful, Velcro Sitz-Shu, Ari was with me. She’s always with me. This little critter bonded with me when she first saw me five and a half years ago, and she hasn’t left my side since. I think she was observant, to a lesser degree than I, of all the things that were happening. We noticed birds. Yes birds. I’m not a bird watcher, so I can’t name all the species of gravity-defying creatures we saw. We saw cardinals, an abundance of sparrows frolicking about the back yard, landing on the top of our privacy fence and for some reason, playing in the two rose bushes we have. While these creatures were flying in short spurts at low levels, crows were flying about at higher altitudes, catching the thermal drafts, and spreading their wings to float about effortlessly in what seem to be a circus act just for us.
High above the crows, we (or at least I) saw steaks of condensation from jets in the sky. The planes were traversing the skies from their original location to wherever their destinations were at altitudes almost to distant for me to see them, but their white steaks marked their presence. The clouds even performed for me, slowly reshaping themselves into the likes of creatures great and small, as they drifted slowly from west to east.
Back down closer to the level that bipeds such as I roam, a variety of insects flew and ambulated about doing something important to them, I’m sure what that would be. They can certainly do whatever comes naturally to them, if they do it outside and don’t take a detour into our house, where their glory will be even shorter lived than the Creator intends.
Nature was alive and well this fine morning and seemingly happy to let Ari and I know it has a lot to say. Many of its most eloquent messages are subtle and can be heard best when we are still and receptive to its gentle calling.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
You just described a perfect morning. I do this a lot, from my own back yard or wherever my adventures lead me. I am not driven to action. I prefer the quiet white space between adventure, the simple act of sitting and hearing and seeing. And like you, my appreciation is rather unspecified. I rarely know the names of the plants, animals, or insects that share space with me. But I enjoy them anyway. And cooler weather makes everything more enjoyable.
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Right there. That’s it.
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