I sit on the back porch, feet up, nibbling cheese. Guilty pleasure that, any variety but goat, the miserable, ever-present tang clinging to my throat, no matter what they say.
It is heavy with heat and this scramble on the keyboard a break from lying prostrate with a book propped on my chest. Though the reading could be better. I vacillate between two lesser books that also happen to be the favorites of people dear to me. I hate that, hate that I see their earnest faces and kind eyes in the midst of my dislike. And now, an invocation of whatever spirit will make my next read so wholly captivating that I read until my eyes ache and pulse quickens.
A trio of hummingbirds competes for our garden, and I marvel at the fierceness, the fantastic fluttered wing spirals and wild chirps of battle.
A crow breaks a cracker in the bird bath, some snack gleaned elsewhere and slowly savored here. She is quiet and delicate in her work, and I marvel at the fact that she does it all without hands. Her onyx feathers gleam, and she watches me, coyly perhaps. We are friends but not that kind, not yet, her penetrating eyes intent on me as I speak to her, of her beauty, mucky messes, and occasional early wake-up calls. She’s finished eating and scratches her head with her left foot, even considers a bath, lightly splashing with her beak, no matter the diminutive size of the vessel in relation to her body.
A squirrel is five feet away from her, hoovering every last remnant the finches and sparrows and jays messily toss out of the feeder, some silent agreement, perhaps. Another claws madly in a wild dash up the neighbor’s sequoia.
Paris is stretched on the concrete of the patio, five feet from me, wholly unaware of the life that surrounds her, pretending she is some Egyptian, I think, so regal is her posture.
I hear the bushtits flit about and a robin chirp in the distance. Children rough house nearby and the steady thrum of traffic drones in the distance, though sometimes I cannot hear it and am elsewhere, some fine elysian field, where all that I love lasts and there is no rush to capture it for another hour.
Happy Birthday, Allison!