Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time Passages

Three years ago 2008:

Jemima

Now, 2011:

Stella

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Meanings Aren't Lost on Me....


As I sit here, after taking Lillie to school, watering the front gardens, and playing with Baby Stella, I hear the scrub jays calling for more seed/peanuts. I hesitate instead of jumping right up as they've trained me to do. I wonder if the deer are still around? The deer watch the feeder for regular visits from the birds. They have learned that those regular visits mean snacks. They raise up on their hind legs and kick at the feeder thereby spilling its contents on the ground below. Those girls are smart.

There's quite a parade of deer that pass through the yard every day. We keep a bucket and two birdbaths full of water for them and whomever else passes through. This place is parched. From the ground up. The least we can do is give them water. We owe the wildlife that much.

This morning, as I watered the gardens, a neighbor stopped on her way to work to tell me how much I looked like Snow White. The girls (3 doe) were near me, waiting for the bucket to be filled. That neighbor doesn't know how she made my day. I filled the bucket and watered another part of the garden and the girls took turns drinking deeply. There's something about the quiet of the morning in the yard knowing they're there with me.

The front yard has turned to dirt. The native grasses that used to cover the dirt have given up in this drought. Rocks surface making the well worn deer paths look like they belong in dust bowl photographs of long ago. I studied the dirt and wondered if it still held nutrition to foster life or had it lost hope. Wondering if there are seeds mixed in. Just waiting.

Eventually the rains will return. And all things will relax. And refresh.

Brent and I stood under the grapevine arbor in the back garden the other evening. The sprinkler was on full blast and the water eased through the grape leaves. We talked of feeling like it was raining, the sound of the water hitting the grape leaves, the mulch, the other plant leaves. And the rising fragrance of Garden reminded us of Newport. We breathed deeply and smiled.

Brent dreamed of rain that night.

I watched a humming bird come through the back garden as I watered one morning. She stopped and perched on a grape vine, drops of water dripping on her head. She leaned left and right to get as many droplets as she could. I froze keeping the sprinkler just inches away from her. She chipped when she saw the gentle shower and wove in and out, chirping and hovering. She then landed on a leaf of the nearby sandpaper tree and squatted down into the cupped leaf to wet her belly. Finally, she flew to another branch of grape vine and began to preen.

All of this happened in seconds but I hope that memory lasts my lifetime. The way the sun shone on her excited eyes as she found the water. The glow of the droplets as she danced within them. And her pleasure as she preened, unhurried, in the morning light...