Every Good Morning

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The sandstone wall under the maples becomes a line along the garden and curves like a snake in motion. It is capped by a beaked piece of granite I found in the field next door and carried home in some delight. How did granite wind up here?

I keep a chair under the tree near water and the feeders that descend from branches. The birds are used to me. I can watch them come looping towards me across the open ground to the south like balls of bright yarn tossed sidearm from far away. This is where I come to escape the madness of men, the bitter lunacy of this moment.

I have learned more about stillness here, about how to let tree sparrows hop close enough to touch without wanting to touch, about seeing nut hatches, true ‘cawking’ comedians, hang upside down on wire mesh and pick one seed at a time, fly up and mash them against a branch to crack them open. I have seen woodpecker adults feeding fledglings and red-winged blackbirds cutting through this complex foliage like star-fighters on the attack. In absolute silence, the whole county gone quiet, I watched a long-tailed weasel hunt mice in the wall, coming closer and closer, popping out to watch me, unafraid, intent, and finally emerging at the close end with a mouse in its jaws which it seemed to hold in a pose for me before running across the road to feed.

I sit down with a book under that tree but read only in bits and pieces. Mostly, I watch, all the while letting what I see seep in and do its work — to let me see and draw lines of connection and step into dreams of balance.

© Mike Wall

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