Thursday, May 31, 2012


IN BIRDLAND WE ARE TAKING A PAUSE. One hectic cycle has suddenly ended and I feel a bit disoriented, like the Ferris Wheel has just stopped, and I have stepped off. The world still seems to be turning, but I am now looking around at a new view, wondering where to go next.


In my confused state I cast around for a topic to write about. Should I tell you about the chicks? Growing healthy and into their adult plumage, tiny feathers along their shoulders and backs and wingtips. The Auracanas, contrary to expectation, are growing tail feathers. It's warm enough now, that they can be outside all day without the lamp, but I'll leave it on a few days yet, for comfort. I still bring them in at night for protection, but they'll soon graduate to the big coop for the nights. It's more secure than the chick creeper. I find myself obsessively counting them every time I move them or visit. Yep, 4 of the yellow Orps, 4 of the Rhode Island Reds, 4 Auracanas with their funny muttonchops. But you're probably tired of hearing about the chicks by now. 

Should I tell you what's blooming? Iris, I'm afraid, is on her way out. I know I should deadhead the stalks, but I find myself staring in stunned appreciation of their post-blooming state. The calyx of each flower has dried to an antique crepe, cupping the space which held a lovely flower just a few days ago. Some wilted flowers still hang on, and I'm fascinated with these faded blooms, curling inward as they dry, the pale, lavender color of the petals fading to a spidery blue. I once worked in a bakery and we had a bouquet of Gladioli. They were lovely in their blooming, but just as lovely as they faded. I left them there in the vase on the counter until a woman came in and told me that they were past their bloom. The baker and I chuckled about it later. I emptied the vase and hung the flowers upside-down behind the counter. They kept their beauty for a long time. In my yard, Peonies won't be far behind the Irises, though they're mostly still bright and bushy. Daisies are still fresh for awhile, yet, and the day lilies are still in bud. Always something is fading while something is just ready to open. But you are surely tired of hearing about the flowers.

Suddenly, with this great pause, I can think about getting my house in order. The breakfast dishes are waiting, and some from last night. The knives are laid on the counter waiting to be carefully washed and honed. 

My boys gave me a nice set of knives for my birthday. They told me they were tired of the dull ones I've always had. I never learned to hone knives, but I want to keep these nice, and it's really easy. The rituals of domestic tasks always seems meditative to me. Hanging laundry on the line—shaking each item to soften it and get rid if wrinkles is like shaking the troubles from my head. Sweeping the floors is like pushing my problems into a manageable pile; and yes, even washing dishes helps me focus and plan my day. I wash and dry each knife carefully, and then hone it like my boys showed me. Taking good care of a gift my sons gave me feels like I'm taking good care of them. But I'm very sure that you're tired of hearing me talk about my domestic chores.

 No, I don't know what to write about this week, and I hope you'll forgive me while I stand her for a moment, blinking in the sun, trying to decide what ride to try next.

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