Saturday, January 5, 2008

Morning After

I went to sleep last night to the music of slashing rain, groaning tree branches and howling winds. Quite a concert, coming through the barely-open window at the head of my bed. This morning quiet lies upon the land (if I may be so poetic), noises damped against the drenched earth . . . and Earth.

The windows in my little house are wide, and each one frames what amounts to a painting. Morning light has gradually brought the hills up from bare outlines against a barely-blue sky to dark mounds against pale grays of sky and cloud. Trees are already distinct. All happening in a half hour.

In the time it took to type that paragraph, the crows have crossed my window, high up today in a rip tide of air carrying them almost without effort toward the Huasna canyon just beyond my hills. Too many to count (though I remember the old joke about counting the legs of the cattle and dividing by four), yet I can estimate how many loosely-connected groups of about twenty-five birds passed by, adding up to several hundred individuals. And, just as I wrote that, some stragglers appeared--another thirty or so--and are gone the way of the others.

I just stopped to take some seeds out for the sparrows. The ground is squishy as a sponge and, in fact, my back yard is like a sponge, riddled with squirrel and gopher holes. It takes care just to walk there, as the ground sometimes gives way when a tunnel collapses underfoot. I'd like to terrace it, with mini-walls of shale and leveled gardens. Just listen to me! Where does this urge to civilize the wilds come from? As much as I love the natural oak land, here I am dreaming of conquering it. (smile)

The sun is not up yet, but already the temperature rises and steamy fog rises from the hillsides. What a spectacular vision!

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