Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 11, 2004
Reading In My Garden
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 11, 2004 – Here I go rabbiting on again about my garden. It can’t be helped. This was a perfect weather weekend and I spent as much time as I could in my back yard. The sparrows and squirrels are always up early demanding that the feeder be hung. They’re a brazen, noisy lot and to my delight, they’re becoming increasingly oblivious to my presence amongst them.
I had my morning tea as I stretched out on the chaise longue, a pillow at my back and a good murder thriller at hand. I was enchanted when a humming bird appeared at the red glass feeder. His gossamer wings held his tiny body in perfect alignment as he stuck his slender bill into the glass tube. For some reason, hummingbirds are attracted to red, and they have their fill of the sugar water that drips down through the feeding tube. He was gone in a flash. I’m hoping he’ll reappear with some friends tomorrow.
I had to work this afternoon but I spent the morning happily ensconced in my yard. I’m astonished at the difference the pergola has made to my garden. This outdoor room is an absolute joy. I sit and watch the birds and squirrels. Trouble the black squirrel has brought a friend and the two of them do their best to chase the grey squirrels away when they descend from the rafters of the pergola. Trouble thinks he has squatter’s rights on the ground beneath the feeder. For every seed the sparrows eat, they drop two, on the ground right underneath the feeder. This has become a veritable smorgasbord for the squirrels, and I’m leaving it to them to sort out the hierarchy of feeding times.
I also had a red headed sparrow at the feeder this morning. He looked as if he’d stuck his head up to the neck in a can of paint. His head and the top of his shoulders were a beautiful scarlet red and the rest of his body, the typical brown of an English sparrow. I’d never seen one before, but a friend assured me that they exist, and obviously she’s right. He seemed a little more timid than the rest of the sparrows and after a few nibbles at the feeder he flew away. The regulars continued with their noisy Sunday brunch until I left for work.
By the time I got home it was five o’clock and there was enough of the afternoon sunshine left for another couple hours of reading in the garden. I sat there thinking that I could happily spend the rest of the summer on my chaise with a stack of good books, a pot of tea or a carafe of wine, wiling away the hours snoozing, reading and watching the birds and squirrels.
My garden has become a haven. I feel relaxed there, still and quiet. Tension and stress melt away and my spirit is refreshed. I hear the ripple of the water fountain in the corner and the miraculous sounds of nature all around me. Augie loves to lie on the deck in the sunshine and dream of great adventures.
His feet tremble and he barks or whimpers in his sleep, then wakes up just in time to remind the marauding squirrels to stay on their toes, before he wanders back to my chair for a hug. Ziggy likes to sit on my lap and watch the birds. I’m sure he has great fantasies of sneaking up on them and dispatching them with a well placed swat. Then a bee buzzes by and he cringes. He’s such a big talker.
I’m learning something from my garden this summer. It’s teaching me the value of quiet time on my own. It’s a wonderful place to sit and close my eyes, listen to my own breathing and get in tune with the soft, gentle space in my heart and the silence in my soul.