bunt sign

Friday, February 23, 2001

It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, until the cold and clouds crept back in this afternoon. The rain will return for the rest of the weekend, they tell us. They tell us a lot of things, and they're often wrong. But the air has turned cold and damp late this afternoon, so I'm inclined to believe them this time.

Yesterday we had a weird weather pattern that no one could have predicted. The sky was half blue and half black, and you never knew when or where it would start pouring. I got caught in a shower walking the three blocks between the store and the post office. The sun was shining when I got out of the car, but it was raining on the block where the post office is located. As soon as I got back off that block again, I was in sunshine once more.

I couldn't resist spending some of the day outside, even though I don't have time to be doing anything but working. I took the cordless phone out with me. I couldn't go far from the door with it, but it gave me visions of the spring that will be here in a few weeks.

Standing out in the garden, I see so much more than I can through the big windows that overlook it. Inside, I would have missed the lone goose flying overhead, and the hummingbird hovering high in the bushes, then darting away over the top of the house. Even the plants take on more of a personality when you're close enough to touch them. It was the only time I felt at peace all day, standing out in the fresh air.

This will be my first spring and summer here. Now, whenever I'm outside, the birds fly off, but I have this dream where I spend so much time outdoors that the creatures get used to me and don't flee at the first sound or movement. I'm ready for a time when I can test this out. A time of more sun and less rain.

Even when I was working, I had the door open and the stereo off. The sound of the birds was all the background music I wanted today. The different species have so many calls and so many songs that it almost seems orchestrated. From the screaming of the jays to the trill of the sparrows, it's a natural symphony that no composer could do justice to.

Once today, I was standing at the window talking on the phone, and the garden was as full of birds as it ever gets. There might have been more different kinds than I've ever seen at once. And in the midst of all this feathery mayhem, a dark gray mouse scurried to and fro, from one clump of grass to another, completely ignored by the birds.

I thought I might be able to get a picture, because he seemed so bold, but by the time I could get off the phone and pick up the camera, he was gone. Either that, or he made the decision to stay put, wherever he was, until I was safely out of the way again.

All of this pastoral tranquility came to me after a morning from hell. I had faxes before I even got out of bed, with letters and proposals to type. Then I tried to get some errands done and ran across every stupid person in Sonoma County. Everyone seemed to have forgotten how to drive. At every store I went into, I got in line behind a customer who had a special problem that took forever for the clerk to deal with.

It's the first time in weeks that I've tried to make the rounds of the office supply stores, and I didn't leave myself enough time for all the people determined to slow me down and make the steam come out of my ears. I finally gave up and headed for Mom's for my daily visit, but I couldn't stay long there because I still had to get to the bank and the post office.

By the time I got back home, I was exhausted and stressed out. It's a miracle I got any work done today, but somehow I managed to keep the Boss off my back, until just about quitting time. Then he came up with a new assignment, so I was glad I'd taken some personal time earlier to commune with nature.

He doesn't know or care how I spend my day. He cares that I get my work done, eventually, and that I'm there to answer the phone when it rings. (I got lucky today. No one called while I was out fighting my way through town.) Sometimes I feel guilty about the breaks I take, when I could be getting something done. But I should never deny myself a little sanity time, considering all the insanity I deal with every day.

The blackberry brambles could take over the yard, if I let them.

blackberry bramble

But I know that the birds like them, so they'll probably stay wherever they're not in the way of other plants.

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