Posted tagged ‘shadows’

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

March 18, 2019

The sun and the blue sky are still hanging around as is the chill. Every day this week is predicted to be in the 40’s, spring on Cape Cod.

St. Patrick’s day was wonderful. Dinner was superb though I’m not sure superb is the right adjective to describe corn beef and cabbage, a hearty meal. Everything cooked perfectly. The Irish soda bread and the Kerry butter completed the meal. Dessert was scrumptious. I didn’t eat it last night, but I had a piece for breakfast. I wonder if it is still called dessert if you eat it in the morning.

I found more shoots popping their heads above the ground. I count them as wonders. I watch their progress every morning. I saw a bit of yellow yesterday. I’m thinking a daffodil.

I am always thankful to Peace Corps for having assigned me to Bolgatanga. Every day was amazement filled with sounds, sights and feelings that I ever knew existed before living in Ghana. It was all a wonder of unexpected beauty.

I loved sleeping outside in the back of my house. My mattress, dragged from my bedroom, was a necessity as the backyard was concrete with a few big rocks which weren’t removed when the house was built and the concrete laid. I slept outside mostly during the dry season. I’d lie on my back and look at the sky. It was always spectacular with so many stars the nights were never dark. They were filled with shadows. Not a night went by without a falling star streaking across the sky. I oohed and ahed every one of them. They were never commonplace.

I have the same sense of wonder when there are meteor showers here. I take out a chair, something to drink, usually coffee, and I watch the sky. I still ooh and ah.

I can’t imagine a life without a sense of wonder, without seeing the joy of every day.

“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.”

August 25, 2017

Some mornings all the elements converge just right and the most gorgeous day dawns. Today is one of those mornings. The breeze is from the north, and I could smell the ocean when I was out with Gracie. Both of us stayed on the deck, not wanting to come inside. The smell of the salt water flooded my mind’s eye with familiar images. I saw the ocean with its tiny whitecaps hitting the sand. I saw the grasses atop the dunes dancing, blown by the slight breeze.

The morning air is cool today. Sharp sunlight glints through the trees hanging over the deck and leaves shadows of armlike branches. The small round mirrors hanging from the pine branches send a reflection of white circles bouncing around the side yard. The birds fly in and out, and I was glad I filled the feeders yesterday.

Today in all its glory needs to be savored.

I’m watching the news about Hurricane Harvey. I know what it’s like to dread the coming wind, rain and high water. I remember Hurricane Bob. It left trees across roads, wires hanging from split telephone poles and branches all over streets and yards. I lost a fir tree in my front yard, my second Christmas tree, but I still felt lucky because the tree fell away from the house. Stores were closed. I was without electricity for days. I cooked all of the freezer meat on the grill trying to save it. I drove all over to find ice. I couldn’t believe the damage I saw. It took a long while for the clean-up and for everything to get back to normal.

On August 25th 1954, two amazing events occurred. Hurricane Carol developed near the Bahamas and started its way toward New England. It would reach the coast days later, at the end of the month. Carol was devastating and deadly. Cape Cod was evacuated. More than 10,000 homes across New England were damaged including 1,545 that were completely destroyed. 3,000 boats and 3,500 automobiles were wrecked. Even Boston wasn’t spared. The wind sheared off the steeple of the Old North Church. Though I was only seven, I have memories of this storm. The giant, old elm tree across from my house went down and fell on the street making the road impassable. My father brought my brother and me outside during the eye of the hurricane to see the tree, and we climbed among the branches. I remember how still it was and how quiet.

The second amazing event was my sister Moe was born. Today she turns 63. She was under 5 pounds at birth so the hospital kept her until she gained more weight. That was the practice back then. She was still in the hospital when we lost electricity so we glad she was. By the time she came home, our house was back to normal.

My sister and Carol are forever joined in my memory.  That’s not to say they have anything in common except both were born on the same day.

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

July 3, 2017

Today is beautiful, sunny and clear, but it’s hot, already 84˚. Tonight the low will be 65˚,  far more to my liking. I was surprised when I brought Gracie out around 8 at how hot it already was. My AC has been on since yesterday. Last night I woke up and grabbed the afghan as I was a bit chilly. I snuggled, got warm and easily fell back to sleep for another hour or so.

Gracie slept with me on the couch for the first time in a while. I heard her panting around 3 and knew she needed to go out. We walked across the lawn to the driveway. It was just so dark the houses were mere shadows. In the backyard, I could hear Gracie walking on the bed of leaves so I knew where she was. While I sat on the steps waiting and enjoying the coolness of the night, she roamed the yard. After she joined me, we went back inside to the couch and both of us fell asleep quickly.

I have outside stuff to do. The lights the spawns chewed need to be replaced as does the string of lights from the huge star on the fence. Half of it went dead which drives me crazy. Three plants died in pots, all the same plant, but I have replacements ready. I need to water the deck plants and clean my outside shower. My fountain can be connected as I found its adaptor. Gracie will like that as she drinks from the fountain; however, that presents a problem as I love the sound of the water as it moves through the fountain, but Gracie often drinks it so dry that I can only hear a gurgling sound.

Often I’ve been traveling on the 4th. I remember Ghana where it’s just another day. I was in Venezuela for the bicentennial 4th of July. It went by me without my even noticing. It is easy to lose track of the date when there is no set itinerary, no expected times of departure or arrival, and that’s my favorite way to travel. I’m not big on escorted tours. Often the best trips are serendipitous.

I saw a chickadee, a nuthatch and a titmouse taking seeds from my feeder, but my favorite was watching a goldfinch remove lint from the container of nesting materials hanging from a branch over the deck. I wish I knew where she was building. I’d love to see the nest and meet her babies.

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

September 24, 2012

It was dark when I woke up, but the sky has brightened with morning. The papers were just delivered. Gracie is sleeping on the couch. She doesn’t like early mornings. I’m starting to dislike them myself.

A few errands need to be done today, and I want to stop at the farm stand for those mums, a couple of pumpkins and some apple cider. I love the colors of autumn, and I love them in the garden best of all.

Carving pumpkins was a Saturday event. My mother would put newspapers on the kitchen table, and she’d do the cutting of the pumpkin. Our job was to clean out the guts. We never thought cleaning the guts was gross. To us, it was the perfect kid job. We’d reach in and get a handful of pumpkin insides mixed with seeds, make appropriate noises and pretend to toss the guts at each other. I remember strands of pumpkin guts hanging from my hand and that would always send us into peals of loud laughter. It’s a kid thing.

I know winter is waiting its turn, but I can’t help but love these crisp mornings. The air smells fresh and the humidity is gone. On the morning of the first frost, I love to walk across the white topped grass and hear the crunch of my footsteps, but I’m not wishing for that frost to come too soon. I’m perfectly willing to wait.

The sun still warms the day but casts shadows different than the summer sun. The leaves are dappled, no longer bright with  morning sunlight. The afternoons die quickly. I don’t guess the right time anymore. I always think it later than it is. My mind still has its summer setting.

“All writers are vampires.”

May 3, 2012

The yard lights, two bottle trees and some tulip ground lights, were out last night so there I was around nine thirty trying to figure out why. I had my flashlight, but it wasn’t enough so I jumped up and down to get Gracie’s motion lights to react. They didn’t so I ran back and forth. The lights then came on so I could see to check the box holding the plugs, the timer and the extension cords. The plugs were fine so I came back in, got a lamp, plugged it into the outside socket and found it didn’t work. I knew then it was time to hit the circuit box. I came in, went down the cellar and pushed the levers back and forth, looked outside and found the lights were lit. I raised my arms in triumph, in a Rocky move; of course, there was a domino effect, and when I came back inside, I had to reset the CD player, the microwave and the old VHS player. I also realized the timer’s clock is probably wrong, but I decided it coukd wait. You’re probably wondering why I just didn’t wait until today for everything. Well, I love looking at those lights, sometimes from the deck and sometimes from the window, and they make shadows of tree branches and their trunks which seem to be nine feet tall stretching across the yard. They’re beautiful, and I didn’t want to miss even one night.

Today is dark and damp and cold at 49°. Yesterday I did errands so I get to lounge today. The book I’m reading is Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. The title alone tells you it’s a strange one with limited appeal, but it appealed to me. I won’t tell you anything as I’d hate to be a spoiler. I figure I’m not the only one with varied, even odd, tastes in books.

As for me now, I’m almost ready for the afghan, the couch, my book and some music.