Sunday, April 12, 2009

While Watching the World

It has been a cold and gray weekend, wet and misty in the mornings, like a dream that lasts well beyond the pillow and continues to brush across my eyes even as I sip my morning tea and sit in silence before the windows looking out on my new third-story perspective of the world. The cats, when not cuddling on my chest, love the windows and spend most of their days on the wide sills, their eyes only half open, the very tips of their tails twitching with the darting of the little brown birds which flit from branch to branch in the tree below us. Even Duncan has taken to spending a good deal of his day in the window, watching the patch of green directly beneath us for the soft rock-shaped bodies of the bunnies he's fallen in love with, or the nervous undulations of the squirrels who scurry across the parking lot and play near the safety of the wiry tree trunks. My desk faces north west, across the golf course, over an enormous red barn and toward the mountains, which have been invisible for three days. Even our narrow little patio, crowded by the grill and my bike, offers a southwesterly view of the park and the continuing line of Colorado's Front Range, where I can sit and watch the cranes circling overhead, their spindly legs dragging behind, carried aloft by their wide and enormous wings. With all this space around us and these tall, nearly room-wide windows, there is no way to help but look.


Still, I prefer to spend my time on the ground, where I can see things close up, where I can pause and run my fingers along the leather-colored skin of a leaf which made it through the winter intact and beautiful. I love to be able to pause and trace the thick, ridged bark of the cottonwoods with my eyes, imagining the ant highways and cities which will appear on them in only a few weeks. On days like today, when the streets are painted in fine water, reflecting the light and echoing the swish of the cars which move over them like some bright but vague jazz painting, I like the feel of the mist kicked up by the spinning tires. Duncan has taught me to pause at those moments and raise my face into it, eyes closed, and relish the sensation of a million tiny drops barely kissing my cheeks, my forehead and chin.

We walked this morning when there was hardly any traffic, when the sky was low, flirting with the tops of the trees, and then again late in the afternoon, when the mist had lifted but could still be felt with each step we took. It was cold but I could sense, even if I couldn't quite see, the presence of Spring all around, like the water in the air which was collecting in our hair and on my glasses, flavoring our tongues with each breath. Spring is an elusive thing in this part of the world, slow to come and then gone before you notice it. It teases and tricks, and like a ghost you can never seem to look directly at it, only notice its vague shape and movement from the corner of your eye. But every now and then, when the world thinks you're not paying attention, you can see it, in the still-naked trees with their barely perceptible halos of green at the edge of their branches, in the bushes, which teem with frolicking tiny birds, each singing as though they've only just learned how, only to fall silent and motionless when you pass too close.

Everything is a game to Spring, but I never grow tired of playing and sharing.

4 comments:

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

We had warm weather here for a couple of days--now its back to cold. Both the boys are antsy--wishing Spring would just show up already!

CJ/Rick said...

I love cold gray days. Ofcourse I don't get many here so maybe that is why. Love the new banner.

caboval said...

I wonder, when do the Russian Olive branches come out? I still dont know what they smell like! Hugs, Valerie Joey and Kealani

Kevi said...

I love "and like a ghost you can never seem to look directly at it". I think that is what troubles some. They can not stick a pin through it and know that it will look the same when they return. It is change. Thank God!