Saturday, November 2, 2013

EnJOYing the Season

Every year when fall arrives, my entire being seems to take a deep breath and let it out in a sigh of relief.  Once again, I can dust summer off my hands and declare, “Well!  That’s done!  Now I can sit!”

Not that I am the type of person prone to sitting for long periods of time.  Someone with my metabolism has to keep moving or go insane.  But in the fall, the outdoors demands sitting, and contemplating, and absorbing.   I take more than my usual ration of moments to stop and just BE.  Outside under the misty sky, with the leaves from the plum tree drifting down one by one, to the ground, to the deck (I’ll have to sweep…again!), on my head…  And this fall’s complement of juncos tumbling like leaves out of the tree, to patrol the mulch beneath it scrounging for choice morsels fallen from the feeder.

Oh, my garden is more active in the fall and winter than ever it is in the spring and summer.  All the plants are slumbering or put up in the greenhouse, but the yard is alive with birds.  The hummingbirds winter here and entertain me year round with their aerobatics and their squeaky soprano singing.  Juncos descend from the higher elevations by the dozens, and the flicker and woodpecker make daily appearances at the suet block—when the starlings will allow them access. 

Chickadees scold from the branches of the apple tree, and the turtledoves float around hugely (they’re so big compared to the other birds) starting up from the feeders into the trees with a great flapping of whistling wings whenever I slide open the patio door to go outside.  The crows carry walnuts from the old groves down the road and drop them from great heights onto the road in front of the house, trying to crack the shells to get at the good stuff inside.   Sparrows, warblers, robins, finches, sometimes a varied thrush or two; yesterday a brown creeper, the day before, a Bewick’s wren. 

And soon the sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks will be zeroing in on one of their own favorite snack bars—my back yard with its flocks of small birds elbow to elbow at the feeders.  Hawks have to eat, too…

Above and beyond all this, the occasional eagle or heron will sail high overhead, and the music of the Canadas and cacklers and sandhill cranes and snow geese can be heard floating on the wind from the marshes to the east. 

I go outside in the morning, or in the middle of the afternoon, or in the evening just before dark, and I SIT.  No book, no computer, no project to occupy my hands or my mind.  I sit, with my birds and the sky and the trees and the leaves and the voices. 

At my solstice fire last December, Hummingbird brought me the Spirit’s message that I put Joy in my life.  I don’t know that I’ve done the best job of that in the past 11 months…though I’ve tried to keep it in mind throughout the year.  But this season, this time of year brings me joy.  And I refuse to feel the tiniest prick of guilt when I sit in my garden doing nothing but breathing, listening, watching…healing.        


1 comment:

  1. David Attenborough's series on birds showed crows in Japan (I think) dropping their nuts in the crosswalks of the streets. The cars crush the nuts and when the light changes they swoop down and gather the bits. Smart birds.