In the summer, I love to sit on my back deck, tinkling the ice in my tea glass, wearing a floppy hat to shade my eyes while I survey the wildlife in my backyard. I enjoy the myriad of birds – their colors, different shirts and songs, and their busyness. I sit amidst the umbrella of trees and plants and the arbor on my deck hidden in dappled shade where I’m just able to hear the fountain pouring out its liquid measure.
We have many (maybe too many) unabashed four-legged creatures that – when it’s quiet of human-generated noise – dare to dart here and there to steal a sunflower seed or to hide under the canopy of the wildness of my backyard landscaping. I imagine that those fidgety chipmunks probably are watching me, too. Maybe wondering the same thing: What in the Sam Hill ARE you doing up (down) there?
Even later in the day, when the sky is wrapped in shades of peaches and roses, I swirl my bourbon, waiting for the bats to take charge of the sky above the deck. I love how the white barn at the neighbors loses some of its angularity. The goats begin to make their trek back to the safety of their lean-to. Maybe a light shines from within where our neighbor has gone down to ensure they have water for the night or to throw feed in their buckets. The kids cry in anticipation. The crickets, the frogs and cicadas begin to own the night song, slowly but, then deafeningly.
I love this noise. It’s my white noise against the background of that Rolodex in my head – the summary of my day in all its impressions on my mind, the to-do’s that didn’t get crossed off which are left for me to wonder, if, indeed, they should have even been on the list in the first place.
I didn’t have this opportunity raising my children and forging a full-time career. And, what a shame. There might have been so, so many things I would have done differently. So, though while I choose not to live with regrets, I am a woman who continually learns. I will not let another day pass without these moments of observation and reflection.