I am sitting on my 5x5' landing in front of the door with the crickets. We take refuge in the cool shade while the cicadas begin singing to the sunlight. The wind carries songs of the birds as they catch their morning feed before the heat drives most mobile living things to take refuge in shade. I watch the border of shade and light on the grass, the contrasting hues of green changing slowly as the sun rises in the sky.
I was up before sunrise to enjoy the cacophony of birds and crickets and absence of motor sounds. A pot of coffee soothed the sleepiness and coached me awake. With the sun barely peaking over the tree tops in the east, I was on the tractor mowing nearly knee-high grass around the house and driveway. A pillow helped brace my back and the abdominal muscles got a workout by staying tight to add support.
The little garden in front of the house received a much-needed cleaning and culling of overgrown cucumbers and yellow squash. I rejoiced inside to find five developing cantelopes, but had to prune back the melon vines that encroached on the tomatoes. My melon pleasure was balanced with the lack of ripe tomatoes; plenty of small green ones but none near ripening. Beets are almost ready to harvest. Weeds inside were pulled while I had a conversation with the bumblebees doing their business.
Now, taking advantage of the breeze in the shade before the scorching Texas sun drives most domestic mammals to seek shelter, I am reminded how much I am a part of the natural world and not a part of the synthetic human environment. As I explained to someone the other day, the stork's GPS broke down when I was dropped as a baby into the city where I spent my first nine years. Something inside longed to escape that environment and drove me to the woods of Maine to live shortly after graduating from high school.
Then, transformed and released like a bird out of a cage, I found my true self in the West. And here I remain.
I hear the crickets and cicadas competing in song, the daily changing of the guard from shade and cool to sunshine and heat. One more cup of coffee before I go.