The 300 yards that open the universe. A finite door to infinity. That’s the view from the back of the house.
Last evening, in the hour of long shadows, I sat out with a glass of wine and wondered at it. At the water, wrinkled by wind, colored chartreuse by the chemistry of angled sun and fading leaves. At the birds, frenetic with the insect-opportunities of the warm autumn afternoon. At the silver splashes of fishtails in the lowered water. In the heron that chooses to perch—and complain—from a riverside tree on my side of the water.
The hummingbirds were there…fewer, to be sure, and less tubby than their earlier-fleeing cousins. Two eagles flew overhead, looking at one another as they flew. I hear the unexpected whistle of a baby owl where none should be at this late time of year, not hardy as its spring brothers had been. Cocky lizards, warming in the false summer. Cows mooing loudly from the pasture, in their delivery of baby calves.
And over it all, from the sheltered side of the house protected from the prevailing weather, the sssssshhhhh of the wind in trees, the sound we humans have borrowed to comfort one another.
I would never have expected that such a limited view could reveal such unlimited wonder. I weep with it; can’t help myself.
Nature and writing came to me simultaneously, very early in my life; an impulse grown from the nature of me to describe the Nature of it; the instinct to see it, to describe it as others did not. A company in my solitariness. My personal Walden has not given me the chapter that remains stubbornly at a distance. Not yet. It has given me something more. When I remember to look for it.