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A preview of a summer day

March 15, 2013
Andrea Hines , Shepherdstown Chronicle

6:30 a.m.: A red bird is knocking on my window. I don't really want to wake just yet, but I drift out of my dozy slumber to "tick tick," "tick", tick tick". I glance over and several birds are at the feeder on my porch railing, each of them vying for the best spot, the larger ones running off the little ones and hogging all the food. It's a beautiful day. I open the back door and step out, barefoot, onto the deck and survey the forest beyond me.

The sunrise is a warm golden pink flag, announcing the glorious day to come with a rainbow of colors streaming through the trees. The vivid greens of the leaves against the stark browns of the bark remind me of stained glass and tissue paper floating in the breeze like a thousand wind chimes. The sparkling white of the remaining blooming dogwoods deep in the forest and the wild roses peeking through the dense brush looks just like a beautiful impressionist painting. Fat beams of sunlight filled with pollen fluff is drifting down onto the lawn, and tiny no see'ums rise up in a swirling funnel cloud of bug life, dancing their way up the warm early summer light and then disbursing into who knows where. A Mayfly hatch is in progress and tiny angel flakes are swirling around hoping for a new generation to appear.

My eye catches my big orange cat in the backyard, lazily investigating the herb garden, looking for a remaining twig of the catnip we planted last year. Not finding any, he flops down under a clump of giant marigolds and hides out in the shade, as it is already getting hot. The temperature in the greenhouse is already 89 degrees. Better get dressed and go water the seedlings and get the fans going. It's going to be a warm one today.

11 a.m.: I am heading out to the river today. I have packed a cooler, called a friend and cannot wait to float awhile in the warm water. I love how the minnows are curious and tickle my toes as I lie in the water watching the clouds and let the rushing sound over the rocks lull my senses into a foggy bright semi-sleep.

I see several ducks across the way. Oh look! They have baby ducklings following behind them. Mama duck is very busy today. A heron is cautiously trying to find a meal on the shore beside me. If I lay perfectly still maybe he won't get spooked. I see him plunge his head right into the water and come up with his prize. A small doomed sunfish is gleaming in his beak, the sun glinting off his golden body like a tiny sun catcher. Satisfied with his fishing expedition, he takes flight, practically right over my head, and I see his massive wingspan stretching through the air like a wonderful feathery umbrella. His legs are tucked up under his great body and his neck is straining to gain momentum and then he is gone. Into the gray-blue streams of the long thin clouds above, he blends right in, and disappears from sight. Laughter and silliness ensues and after a little snack and a bit more floating, it's time to head home.

5 p.m.: The garden is finally producing a few veggies. I go in through the gate, and the cat is still under the marigolds, glancing my way in a perfectly lethargic cat way, and decides he can stay there a little longer. I pick some tender salad greens and harvest a few early tomatoes for supper.

7 p.m.: Back on the deck with the family and it's time to grill a nice piece of fish, I want to eat supper outside tonight. I set the table with my mother's favorite place mats, pour some cold white wine and move the umbrella so we can sit in the shade while we eat. Jazz is drifting out of the open windows and the air is still and peaceful.

The sun begins its evening descent and magenta and orange scarves are moving in the western horizon and streams through the forest landing on my sun kissed face. It is getting a little darker now and the bats begin their evening hunt, silently flying in circles around and around the house above me, as if tethered to a long invisible string, diving and swooping in a majestic graceful way. As the day winds down, I look around at my little home in the forest, and think how beautiful the world can be when you take the time to stop and enjoy it, and I feel very happy that more of these days will come again.

 
 
 

 

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