Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beyond the Glass

Off the grid most certainly does not mean 'out of touch', as all of my senses are stimulated by the bounty that lies before me, including my sense of wonder. "Wonder is that extravagant state of bliss induced by something new - the strange, astonishing, mysterious, and unexpected. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow." (Sarah Ban Breathnach)

Just this morning, as I stood in my backyard taking in the cool salt air and surveying the lush greens, purples, and pinks awash with 3 days of nourishing rains, a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird took center stage of my awareness. Against the backdrop of Tamarack, Balsam Fir, White Spruce and Lupines, he performed his courtship display not 15 feet from where I stood, stock still!

During the courtship display, the male hummer flies back and forth in a wide arc, like the pendulum on a clock, making a whirring, buzzing sound on each dive. Reaching heights of 20+ feet at each end of the arc, he swept down to within 2' of the ground with each pass. There was an ethereal effect to this early morning occurrence as the fog had thickened around me obscuring all by my immediate surroundings. I live in a hollow, my driveway circling around the back of my house, giving me the sense of being in the bottom of a bowl on days when I'm banked in by the fog.

I thought I was so lucky to have observed this behavior through my kitchen window on May 30 and 31st, but now I feel honored, humbled. This small delight will carry me through my day as I wait for the next magical moment to unfold before me.

I leave today with this thought to share:

"There is a real world, beyond the glass, for children who look, for those whose parents encourage them to truly see." Richard Louv, "Last Child in the Woods"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seventh Summer

I have been off the grid since returning to my Cape Breton island retreat on May first and have, with childlike delight, been rewarded over and over again by Mother Nature with gifts large and small.

Without transportation and pretty much confined to my immediate area, I am reminded almost every day of the wonders in our own backyards. My new motto: A little bit of awareness goes a long way. This phenomenon is not necesserily new to me but each time I witness "an event", it gives me great pause, and the whole world stands still as I observe. I feel badly for those that flock to video stores and malls in search of entertainment.

My yard list is already quite impressive, including a couple of uncommon and rare visitors just passing throuogh, one of which was an Orchard Oriole. My attempt to entice him to linger longer was to set out some orange halves and some homemade blueberry jelly. Not surprising, my 2nd year male visitor moved on, but what was a delightful surprise was to discover the resident Song Sparrows frequenting the jelly! It goes without saying that the "jelly cup" is filled each and every morning as part of my routine.

Before I returned to Isle Madame, I purchased some wonderful soap from Long Winter Farm and I often like to end my day soaking in a tub of hot water and lathering up with my favorite scents. This soap is marvelous - a special treat - and I can't wait to afford ssamoling som of her other products. Most days are still cool here, facing the South onto the water, and nothing takes away that deepened chill better.

Many thanks to Peggy from Three Bridges Sewing Co. for sending such a beautiful, well crafted give-away giftr. With much anticipation, I unwrapped a navy blue, nautical print cosmetic bag, too nice to use! I thought waht fun to be able to order a few now, then spend until Christmas picking up little items to fill them for different people. What lovely, fun and personal gifts they would make.

I sit now in the warmth of the waning evening sun, out of the wind, and enjoying all of the bird life around me. I give thanks for another beautiful day and tmy good fortune at being here among my island friends and neighbors.