Dawn to Dusk in the Embrace of Love

15 Jun

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June 15, 2020   –   Monday

Day 1,646

 

The sun rose at 7:32 and cast its golden glow on the mountain. Half an hour later a thump on the roof woke me from a light sleep and I rose and opened the curtains to the bedroom to look out at the grove and the steps that lead to the forecourt and the drive. The sun glinted through tree branches beyond the garden and silhouetted the shapes of birds flitting through the forest canopy. The steps were wet with dew and a few chaffinches were hopping around checking the area for seed. I couldn’t see what had made the thump and went in to open the curtains in the sitting room.

Another day dawning. Another beautiful, sweet, golden morning, serene and windless, ripe with promise. I turned on the electric heater and was about to prepare Valerie’s tea when I decided to check the steps again. Sure enough, there was Mr. Lonely, a California quail that has been living here on this property since before we arrived some four-and-a-half years ago. Of all the dozens of quail that have visited our land during this year’s long hot summer, only he is left. The rest have packed it in and headed down to the tangled swathe of gorse and blackberry that borders the community vegetable garden half a kilometre down the valley.

I put on my thick terry cloth robe and slippers and went outside to scatter a couple of handfuls of seed into the grove, and, because he was so patient and unafraid, right on the pavers at Mr. Lonely’s feet. He tucked in right away and as I turned to go back inside I could hear the chaffinches and green finches and sparrows flying down from the trees surrounding the house. Breakfast for the birds at the dawn of the world. That’s what it felt like and it’s the same every day. Cold, tranquil, sun dappled and perfect. I smiled and went back inside.

Valerie woke and stretched and murmured good morning sweetly and we had breakfast in bed, warm beneath the covers, watching avian antics as the birds rattled through the seed and the sun rose until it shone directly in the bedroom window. For the umpteenth time I reminded myself to clean the windows as they are hard to see through when the sun blazes through them. It’s like driving up the 309 Road into the setting sun and struggling to see out the streaked and crazed windshield of the car. I add it to the list.

The walkway, version three, is the priority and that is what I end up focusing on for the rest of the day. Guests are coming in four days to celebrate our victory over the virus and I’d like to have it finished before then. I have to stop twice. Once to swap out gas bottles for the kitchen stove and once for lunch. The birds in the grove kept me company and row by row I slowly lay pavers and bricks in a gently curving path from the end of the raised walkway next to the storage room shipping container toward the new steps up to the deck of the forest porch. Time flies and as the sun sets behind the northwest ridge and the light begins to fade I pack up my tools and take stock of my progress. Halfway done and tomorrow when I go into town to replace the gas bottle I’ll have to pick up three more bags of bedding sand and thirty more bricks. I’ll use the trip to take four bags of trash down now that the refuse transfer station is back to running normally. Down and back in two hours if all goes well. And it will.

Night folds its arms around the forest and the stars come out clear and bright. It’s going to be a cold night. Two Moreporks begin calling in the trees down toward the river. I answer, saying hello and goodnight, and wish them good hunting. The moon is waning and won’t be up until late this night. Before sleep takes me I will give thanks for all that this day has given me. Miracles and light, love and laughter. It’s all you need and it’s all right here in the forest. I could not be in a better place.

 

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6 Responses to “Dawn to Dusk in the Embrace of Love”

  1. rochellewisoff June 15, 2020 at 8:24 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    A lovely, golden post. Say hello to Mr. Lonely for me. Love to you both.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • dmmacilroy June 16, 2020 at 1:16 pm #

      Dearest Rochelle,

      Do you know that you are here with us always? Think on that because it’s true. Breathe deep, swim peacefully and I’ll pass the word to our guy in the grove.

      Love,

      Doug

  2. sustainabilitea June 16, 2020 at 2:22 am #

    What a delightful picture you paint, Doug! This is the sort of post we need these days, filled with beauty and love to store up against the anger and violence. I can imagine how you’re both looking forward to visitors. We are as well. Our older daughter and her husband will be here Wednesday-Sunday. Quite the excitement these days. 🙂

    Enjoy!

    janet

    • dmmacilroy June 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm #

      Hi Janet,

      I thank you for your knowing comment. It is my intent to post mostly these types of entries from now on…..however, I recently learned we have two new cases in NZ! We’re still having guests over on Friday, but everything is back up in the air again. Stay tuned.

      Love to you both,

      Doug

      • sustainabilitea June 16, 2020 at 1:58 pm #

        Arizona’s having another wave as people are out much more but many don’t wear masks. We’re still mostly at home and wearing masks when we shop. That all we can do. On the bright side, my husband’s boss’s mom is recovering from C-19, which was great to hear.

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