Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Neighbors

     There are two times of the day that are my favorite.  Early morning - I wake around 4 a.m. - and early evening.  At 3 a.m. I am awakened by the pack of coyotes cackling to one another.  It's frightening at first.  Any large amassing of animals that prefer the cover of night, yet throw off that cover to converse is unsettling.  I picture the pack surrounding a rabbit or one of the many feral cats, taunting it with bellicose barks prior to dispatching it.  But, at the same time, it is comforting to know they are there.  That they too are living here on much less than I have.  Perhaps one morning I'll bark with them in solidarity.
     I drift back off to sleep till 4.  It's still dark out but the roosters are crowing.  I lay in the dark and my eyes adjust.  A horse next door clears its throat.  Bleu doesn't move a muscle.  I have the farm to myself for another 45 minutes.  I hesitate to turn on a light or start moving.  The quiet of the still air is mesmerizing.
     Early evening is nice as well.  The day's heat has subsided.  The camper still has some of the heat stored.  This is the time of rituals.  Make dinner, wash dishes, cup of coffee.  I turn off the whirring of the fan.  I can here the low grumble of traffic on the I-5.  A continuous avalanche rumbling of noise.  Outside song birds are chirping.  Feeding on the evening insects that take flight.  They'll be turning in soon and so shall I.  My showers are cold these days.  You would think that would force me to fix the water heater.  But I haven't.  I feel there's something to gain by learning to take a cold shower.  So far I have learned I don't like it.
     It's interesting how quickly my life is taking on the cycles of the days.  I wake up early and go to bed early.  My heart is on east coast time but my existence is on the west coast.
     I feel I'm becoming in tuned with the land here.  Not because I'm mastering it or what it has to say.  But because I am realizing how much I don't know about it.  What wild plants grow here, what wild trees grow here, what wildlife lives here, insects, fish, amphibians?
     The land around the river is especially green and I know there are secrets locked away.  Use this plant for pain, use this one for stomach issues, insect repellant, and many more.  And each one of them has names.  Many names in fact.  The common name which shows its relationship to humanity and its Latin taxonomy to show its relation within the kingdom of Plantae.  I want to learn these names.  I want them to roll off my tongue and through my lips as easily as if I were talking to old friends.  I want to know these neighbors of my new home intimately.

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