I got home from job-hunting and wife-hauling too late to do anything constructive yesterday, So, I took the dog on a little walk and did a little porch-sitting with her. After taking her back inside, I returned outdoors and gathered up a few branches from where I cut up the dead oak in the front yard. I then drug them to the other side of the lawn and tossed them onto what I plan on eventually being a bed for a hugelkultur experiment. That done, I walked around the left side of the house and sat down on the cut stones that hold a small fill beside the basement door. The stones came from the old cellar house of my paternal grandparents. I like to use things that hold memories when I can.
The clouds in the west were a beautiful golden color as sundown approached. After resting and remembering for a few minutes, I got up and moved a few things out of the way, where I need to fall three small oaks in the back yard. The largest of the three is growing a limb into the little stained-glass window in the apex of the cathedral ceiling in the upstairs bedroom. In my younger days, I’d have tied a ladder to the tree and gone up and cut the offending limb. Since it leans toward the back deck a bit, I’ve decided to bring the limb to me, since I can no longer climb that far on a ladder as to go to it. Once it’s down, two other small oaks might as well come down too, leaving those remaining less crowded.
When I built the back bedroom and deck, I envisioned my wife and me watching spring and autumn sunsets with a glass of wine in hand. Twelve years of afternoons at the factory squelched that plan. Times and people change, and we now spend sundowns on the road, or closed up in our house. We no longer drink wine, either, she - because it bothers her stomach, me - because I can’t really afford it anymore anyway.
Sitting down on the cut stones again, I watched the last sliver of sun slip beneath the oak-limbed horizon. It was just warm enough that I could enjoy sitting there watching the daylight pass into night. After a few minutes I could hear, and barely see, a squirrel coming towards me through the woods. At a certain point, he started up a now leafless oak, I suspected to work his way to a nest three trees over. And so he did, in his convoluted squirrel fashion. Against the last dim light of the yellow sky, I watched him enter the big ball of leaves that’s currently his home. I was surprised that he seemed to have his entrance on the west side, where most of our weather comes from around here. But then I heard leaves rustling, so he probably “closed the door” behind him.
The sky was yellow again this morning when I took the dog out for her first drain of the new day. Like the night before, it was one of those skies that seemed to forebode rain in the near future. (I think it’s predicted for tonight and tomorrow). In the forest edge, which is always just a few steps from our wood-side cabin, I could hear the chickadees conversing as they began their breakfast of weed seeds and bark-sheltered bugs. Again, the dog and I did a little porch-sitting after her deed was done. Sitting together at the porch edge, we watched the sun peek over the pines on the eastern horizon and begin to relight the heavens. We are so blessed. © 2013