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Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Piece Full World takes a new healing direction...
"Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"  Mary Oliver
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In defiance of us busy, judging, task-oriented people, grasshopper observing poet Mary Oliver asks:

"Tell me, what else should I have done?  Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?"

In my growing up rural 1960s Ohio yard, I, too, contemplated grasshoppers. And praying mantises.  And ant beds and squirrels and--at night--swooping bats. I searched clover beds for elusive four leafed treasures. I made dandelion chains. I smelled Grandma's roses in Grandma's rose garden.  A beautiful white pinked tipped rose named Peace was her favorite. I trimmed Mom's peonies. The peonies were heavy and fecund in their perfume.  Bees hummed. I climbed backyard pear, plum and apple trees.  I took books with me. I read books in trees. My hair then was golden from the summer sun and so I see myself a golden girl in an Ohio tree with a book. I like that me.  I love that me.

I remember.  

I remember my cousin Mike with his shoe boxes of skin shedding mantises. Mike took excellent care of those elegant creatures. I remember too my mother working through her worried patience, saying things like "Mike, they can't get out of that box can they?" 

I was probably eight years old.

It is the last time I remember contemplating grasshoppers.  Or praying mantises. I've been busy with a whole lot of other stuff since then. 
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But now.....

When in a proper 2019 mood, a Florida backyard iguana charms--and exasperates as there are so many of them now!  But I am in such a mood. The iguana's hind legs are sunshine splayed as it basks by the small lake behind my house. Its scales are lifted like nettles.  Or perhaps they're more like a gone awry gooped mess of a teenage hair design.  I see little nobbily things under its chin.  My content and unkempt iguana needs an old fashioned iguana make over. Yet there it sits, slit eyed, satisfied and sunning.

It peeks from one eye.  Apparently it decides I am of good will and ignores me.

Muscovy ducks.  They charm too.  Especially on a proper mood evening. One, it's wing damaged, bent and misshapen, is my backyard waddling favorite.  It keeps up with its able bodied peers the best it can. My husband and I assure our broken winged--and let's be honest, hideous--Muscovy gets its share of the stale bread too. 

"Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I now fill my one wild life with sunshine on a small backyard lake.  A broken winged duck this evening. It is more than its wing.  It is a eager searcher--of food primarily.

Our starlings have returned to the stoic avocado tree and its nest hole.  They are my delight this morning. "They're back!" I exclaim to my sleeping husband.  "Our birds are back!  They've brought friends!"  Coffee in hand, I listen to my starlings' warbles and trills. There is nothing, in this moment, more than this.  

Flowers.  I look closely this morning.  Buds!  Everywhere buds on my rescued plants.  I am indeed a plant rescuer.  I forage at Lowes through the "sale items"--one, two dollar formally glorious (and overpriced) preening, proud plants now desultorily relegated to shelves on the "last chance" shelves.  They seem grateful for my efforts.  

I talk to plants.  I talk to trees and birds too. 

Today, I watched and listened to birds.  A proud starling atop an avocado tree limb robustly trilling  a return song.  It's mate in and out of its and my lovely, old and stalwart avocado tree's hole. 

Tell me.  What else should I have done today with my one wild and precious life?


8:23 am edt          Comments


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