“Look at the Birds of the Air”

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The dawn on Sunday , proclaimed the new day in a whisper.  Gentle light fell over the countryside, casting faint shadows.  Even the birds , tried to keep the new day a secret, for they abandoned their usual chatter.  Sometimes, beautiful things slip in our lives quietly, without a bit of fanfare.  I love mornings, in any shape or form.

I did start the spring cleaning, though I haven’t broken a sweat about it.  I was sure that my bedroom would be as easy as  eating cake.  It took all day and then some.  Yesterday, I started in the kitchen.  I dreaded the thought of it and most especially, at a time when the cabinets are at full capacity.   . . which really is something to be grateful for.  

Kyle has made himself scarce, since I announced the “spring cleaning project”.  True to his word, he has been cleaning the territory.  He even got the lawn mower working.  Oh!  how much better things looked!   I bet , my neighbor, Susan was as happy as I was, to see the fresh cut lawn as she tended to the mowing, most of last summer.  I looked around at the clean sheets  on the line, billowing playfully in the slight breeze.   . .and there were the violets along the winding footpath to the garden and the cherry tree with sparse, but very fragrant blossoms.  . . and a single white tulip blooming by the back door..  My heart swelled with gladness at the goodness of it all.  This place may be old and shabby and can not even boast  of a dishwasher, but it is not short on charm. 

I spent  the day, in the kitchen.  Most days, I am quite satisfied to have such an extensive collection of spices . . . it was not this day.  (The spices did not get packed up, last year.) It was tedious work, and several needed new labels.  I am quite particular about my spices. 

The secret of the new day, got out , for the sun told it to anybody that would listen.  By noon, bright silvery light  flooded the territory.  It was so quiet, for not a single car rode by, and not a neighbor was in sight.  Tomorrow, the circumstances get much more strict.   We are not to leave our homes and there are few exceptions.  I have already been practicing this.  Of course,  I have quite an advantage, since I enjoy solitude and have all sorts of work and hobbies to entertain myself with.  The worse thing for me, is of course, not seeing my children and grand children.  If the projections are accurate, then it will be a long while.

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I do not know when I quit worrying, but it was much more than a decade ago, I think.  Worry never changed anything, except my well being. A lot of the things, I worried about, never even happened.  The elders used to say, “Don’t borrow trouble” and went about their business.  It seems they were always right about most things.  Of course, there is scripture, to support this saying.   Matthew chapter 6,  really does sum up “faith” and I have often relied on this passage.  , ,and in fact, I have painted a portion of it on one of the barns, along with birds.  ..Look at the birds of the air . . .”

Because I am not known to worry, I am considered to be carefree, by others.  It is mostly true, after all, but I declare  that this current epidemic warrants a degree of concern.   . .and caution.  To me, worry  and concern are like first cousins to one another.  Mighty close ,  and they may favor, but they go to different homes, at night.  Worry is anxious and it feels hopeless and so desperate.  Concern is awareness and alert observance, and proceeding with  great thoughtfulness.  Now, not a dictionary, I know of, says such a thing, but it is how I feel .

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Monday was fair a day as has ever been.   I  still have work to do in the kitchen.  There were just a couple of cabinets left-and they do not require the work, that the spice cabinet did, thankfully.  In that case, I had plenty of time to meander in the glory of  a day in spring.  There can never be too much of that . . .even should I live to a hundred and walk every springtime, I live to see. 

Now, the wisteria blooms. Their blossoms are lavender and form into clusters, that look like those of grapes.  Some of them bloom now, in the patch of young woods.  I find them beautiful and such a hallmark of spring . . .but i can not look at the darling flowers of the vine, without remember my friend “Sweet Anne”  of Mehrling Muse”,  for she does battle with one  wisteria every year. These vines  are beloved . . if they are in the woods.  They are hard to tame in the landscape, and will consume porches and gazebos and their neighbors, if you but blink.  Now, “Sweet Anne” feeds the birds, for she is that kind . . .but she is a warrior when it comes to wisteria.

Some of the wild irises are blooming too.  How they got along the edge of the woods, will remain a mystery, to me. Behind, the oldest barn, is a small orchard and how happy I was to see the pale pink apple blossoms.  The bright yellow Japanese roses are blooming in mass and so though the orchard looks shabby, and needs tending, there us an undeniable beauty.  The orchard is just bit wild now, and I almost prefer it, that way, I think.

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One of the things that I love about nature,  is that  it is so dependable.  Come fire, hail, sleet or high water, nature recovers and goes on to thrive.  I remember when my grandmama died.  She was ninety-three and up until the last few months of her life, she was still sweeping floors at the rabbit patch.  She was a tender soul with the heart of a lion, as  she had proved by living through hard times, that most of us have never seen the likes of . . .yet she remained gentle . . and full of light. 

The night of her death,  there was a bright flaxen moon over the field . . .There it was shining, as if nothing in the world had changed.  It was not one of my best moments, for  I am the one that quarreled with the moon. How heartless ,  that moon was to glow like  that.    It seemed to be making quite a grand production of its’ shine.  Without a bit of shame,  I stated my feeble case fiercely.  In the spring, I took no pleasure when the lilac thrift bloomed -nor the roses in the “Quiet Garden”.   Grandmama loved flowers. 

Now, years later, I am  sure, that the moon was grieving, as I was.  Maybe, the truth was that it was shining so brightly, because my world was so dim, that night.  With times being what they are, I  finally realise that  not only does nature feed us, clothe us, and shelter us . .  and supply us with perpetual beauty . .   It also comforts  us with things like  apple blossoms. . .and that unwavering moon. 

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27 thoughts on ““Look at the Birds of the Air”

  1. I am a first-class worrier, descended from a long line of worriers, and I really like the distinction you made between worry and concern. Right on the piton, as we Franco-Americans would say. (Sort of like hitting the nail on the head.) So hard not to be able to visit your children and grandchildren! Hard on them, too, I bet. We, too, have a shabby house. Our shoestring budget doesn’t have much in it for home repairs. Nevertheless, to me, my home is the best place to be. Cozy despite its shabbiness. And much loved, too. Virtual hugs from Maine. Hope your parents are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Laurie-always so glad to hear from you. I use to worry a lot-even as a child. I understand about shoe string budgets and repairs-they do not mix well! That is what happened here.. I do love being at home, anyway. Stay safe and well-ths world needs folks like you! love Michele

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      1. Michele, like you I’m very much a home-body. It doesn’t bother me a bit to be at home. I love sitting at the kitchen counter watching the 🐦 , the squirrels and 🐿 frolic along our wall. I can see blooming 🌺 , and my cat 🐱 and 🐶 playing with each other out the window. I can see the ⛅️ and the sun, or even see and hear the 🌧. I can see nature just carrying on as it does without worrying about a thing but newness and growth.

        There’s plenty I seem to come up with to keep myself busy, and happy. Sure I know what’s happening down my hill way out here in the country, but it’s not going to change until it does, and I believe it will pass when the time comes anyways. Worry is fruitless, and greying to bout. Thankfully, there are ways to stay in touch with friends and family that make it safe for all. And so it is, and so it shall be.

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  2. In every cloud a silver lining.
    For you, it is extra time on your hands, but the rest of us are rewarded by having more of your writing to ramble through, and cleave to.
    We share an affinity for the moon.
    It’s good to see that, in retrospect, you can know she listened to every word from her hurting child,
    and did the only thing in her power to comfort you.
    And here she remains, unwavering.

    Slainte,

    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this is exactly what I felt . . .later. Grandmama and I shared a unique bond. She taught many :great and sacred” lessons – and how to cook. Ha! I was fifty when she died and felt like I was five. Someone who loved me thoroughly had left and it hurt me deeply. I still miss her and do my best to show others, the beautiful things that she showed me. I know, that you understand this. x dear friend, Michele

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      1. I understand absolutely.
        Much of my life and most of my actions are an homage to my grandfather, from whom I take the sobriquet “Pop Pop”.
        All my adult life, I have reached for the bar he set, and I have come out the better for it.

        All my best,

        Scott

        Liked by 1 person

  3. At least with the stay at home orders we have the beauty of nature and the spring flowers to keep us company. This is a time to count our blessings. You’ve inspired me to do some spring cleaning! Stay safe and be well, my friend 😊❤️😊

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  4. I love your definitions of worry and concern.

    Thanks for mentioning me, even if it was in the same sentence with the wicked wisteria. You were much too kind and civilized to use the word wicked. Just the other day, John said he thought he could see a bit of green on the wisteria. I’m trying to live up to your wonderful adjective of “sweet” for me, or I would have slapped duct tape on his mouth in ten seconds.

    Good luck with the spring cleaning. I will enjoy yours vicariously.

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  5. Michele, your words are so precious! I believe, as you, that the moon shone all the more brighter to comfort you in your grief after your grandmama’s passing. I had an African proverb on my wall “My barn burned down, but now I can see the moon.” Maybe with COVID-19 restrictions, we can’t get out like usual, but what can we see better? Much love to you and yours — VA

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  6. You do have a wonderful way of weaving a story. Loved this post. I do worry, but then I tell myself I should not and I constantly try to think back to better times – to help myself stop worrying. Worry does not help a thing – just pray and put your trust in God (this is something I tell myself all the time).

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  7. Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.
    Camille Pissarro
    Our Marine is still deployed we are fine in NJ but being very careful. beautiful as always so honest and sweet. Peggy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another beautiful post, Michele! I do think that your grandmother was comforting you through the moon, and I love your take on worry. I tend to worry too much, and am trying hard not to. These days are trying, but honestly, I find that I’m not worrying as much as I thought I would. What will be, will be. And I’m learning to adjust to life under a shelter at home order!

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  9. Oh Michele….this is beautiful. As I let out my chickens this morning I was serenaded by a cardinal. That same verse came to mind….Consider the birds. It was a great reminder then and your post is a great reminder now! Thank you.

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  10. Oh, that moon. It was giving to you, yet it understood your pain. Mother Nature does that. She understands and she is always there. I often have to remind myself to pay attention and say thank you.

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