It’s May, and the weather in the Pacific NW has been enormously unusual. We’re having regular sun, and the temperature even hit into the 80s. Of course, as a sun bunny, I enjoy it immensely while realizing that climate change IS alive (but not well). Then I look around our front and back yards.
We have an Anna’s hummingbird couple set up house in one of our Asian pear tree – we THINK since the size of a hummingbird nest is about the size of a quarter. The male sits at the top of our dead cherry tree, watching. When they first came to our yard, I walked out our front door and heard a very loud sonic whistle. Looking up, there was a hummingbird, about ten feet over my head. But the couple has gotten used to me. I’ve started weeding the front yard, every now and then looking up and talking to whichever one is sitting in the tree. They no longer get freaked when I walk around.
In the backyard, we have two black-headed junko nests – one hidden in the weeds of our back raspberry box and another just recently found hidden against a rung of two ladders that we laid against our fence. Junkos NEVER get comfortable with humans. Get close to a nest and they burst out with a flurry of “tick-tick-tick”. Needless to say, our German Short-haired Pointer, Belle, is just going bonkers over these interlopers. She’s the one who found the nest in the raspberry patch. I had finished weeding 2-1/2 beds. As I began the last half, she stood beside me in perfect pointer form. Sigh – I’m waiting for the babies to fledge so I can finish weeding that half of the box.
Why am I talking about these little things? Because these little things are keeping me sane.
It’s so easy to forget them with all the gnashing in the news and the power games of politics. I’ve begun turning off the TV, listening to podcasts or audiobooks. I treasure walking outside with Belle at 7 am to listen to the “maw-maw-maw” of raven babies, a distant swoosh of traffic, and the gentle shrug of tree leaves. Look up at the clouds in a blue sky; guess the shapes. Or just lean back in an outside chair to feel the sun’s warmth.
I think of these little things more and more maybe because I just turned 56 – the age my father died of a massive heart attack. With my own recent breast lump issues, I’m reminded that I want to stay around for a while. I allow myself to briefly miss the sound of my son’s baby belly laughs and feeling his chubby fist at rest against my breast as he suckled. He’s tall enough now that I’m the one resting MY head on HIS shoulder when we stand side-by-side. (BTW, I’ve also shrunk an inch in height.)
Time passed too fast. I blinked and my son is 18 years old.
But, you know, with all the utterly dumb things I’ve done in my younger years, I’m astonished that I’m still alive. I’m amazed that I have a son who stands up for himself, something I never dared to do when I was his age. My marriage to a gentle man is, we joke, longer than our first marriages combined. Imagine that!
Of course, it wasn’t all easy. Like the Stephen Sondheim’s song: “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen ’em all / And, my dear, I’m still here”. I honestly appreciate life a bit more now. With all the changes, good or bum, the little things are consistent. Don’t forget about them.
To see some of the little things that intrigue me, check out my gallery “The Little Things”.