Morning does not seem to be the right word for now, for the now I am living, feeling, as I walk onto the upper deck where the roses are beginning to open,
where the air still feels full of the owl calls I heard in the night, barred owls mostly, but another, farther away, two notes only, and where the tomatoes are growing inches by the day.
The day began with a call from Ottawa where that family was driving back from a hike and the grandsons were full of news. A dragonfly nymph in the pool they’d created in the backyard for tadpoles and other pond life. A dragonfly nymph that breathes through its bum! This, in French and English! After talking to them, I thought about the Edmonton family, camping in Jasper, having left on Thursday in snow…And I felt gratitude, because Angelica and her beau received their first shots of Pfizer yesterday.
Yesterday at this time I was beginning to prepare for our first lunch guests in more than a year. We’d eat outside and the day was only half-sunny. Was it too early to open our lives to actual contact with others? When I pulled a linen cloth from the pine bureau, I saw that a mouse had chewed a bit of it for a nest. That mouse was around last year but it shows how long it’s been since I’ve used a tablecloth. Was it wrong to leave them so long in a dark drawer? The moon plates, the silver, pretty napkins bought in San Francisco. The deck was beautiful (“Like Greece!” our friends exclaimed, as we sat under wisteria and leafing grape-vine, capiz shell chimes tinkling, and the table laid with tomato tart, cheeses, duck pâté with apricots, salad from the upper deck, and Prosecco in the faux Murano glasses). We kept our distance physically but how lovely it was to talk across the table again, to take up a conversation began many years ago and to extend it as naturally as air.
Just after our friends left, I looked out the window to see a young black bear approaching the deck, hoping for leftovers. Realizing it had been spotted, it disappeared into thin air, like the owl calls last night, the sound of capiz shells, the scent of roses as they open in the morning, fresh and almost honeyed, and the sweetness of yellow daylilies before the sun reaches them, opening, opening. Some mornings I feel as though I am hovering between this world and another and I don’t have the words to say who I am.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
—Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks