Friday, March 7, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
But until then we go on together, tracking the days, time slipping away like sand from an eroding dune. We settle for simple things, the drama of the ordinary, perching our rumps on the back steps and watching summer arrive.
The phoebe is back and throwing its little weight around, quite aggressive in nesting. I find it comical, because no one here has any interest in raiding the nest, before, during or after eggs have been laid. The dog's disinterest is global; she could not care less about activities taking place in the canopy or along the edges of the roof.
But early summer, aside from its blessings of cool nights, ideal for sleep, is producing more surprises than I had anticipated or planned. We are getting a Broadway production's worth of activity from songbirds pecking the rotted railings on the deck, enacting something like high-wire acrobatics while they look for burrowing insects and dislodge the wooden joints.
Their voices -- always a drape of sound pulled from the dawn, suspended during the day and drawn again at dusk -- are punctuated by the keening cry of a hawk who, I believe, may have chosen a nesting site in this area of the forest. Every now and then, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a large bird and try to discern whether it is hawk or owl, or if it matters. The woods go on, with or without us.
This is the sentiment I entertain happily now, as mortality lays a heavy hand on my shoulder to remind me of the dog's frailty and all the inevitable endings that are racing toward us. Moths, with their abbreviated lives, cling to the screens, trying to reach the lamplight indoors; mosquitoes hum and hover.
We have only today, this work, this play and hearts brimming with love and gratitude for the world that goes on and on, no matter our speculations or signature. We are not writing history here. We are footnotes of creation.
North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: