Last night, after I stopped working, around 5:00 (well, after I pulled myself away from reading new posts around 5:00 after having stopped working a bit earlier ...), I went out to our backyard to join Mrs. Pilgrim, who had gone there earlier to center herself. She was sitting off to the side of the Big Maple, in the comforting shade of its leaves.
The evening was perfect. The temperature must have been in the low 80s, and there was relatively little humidity. We were in the shade, so there was no question of becoming overly hot. A soft breeze caressed us. The sky was deep blue, with very few clouds, and those that were present were tiny, so they did not diminish the bright sunlight that made leaves sparkle and flowers shine.
When I first came out, the birds had been spooked and flew off, but as we sat quietly, making no disturbing moves or loud noises, they returned. For the next hour and a half, as we sat there, the birds flitted in and out of the yard, moving between the trees behind us to our tree, and darted within the yard, from branches to feeders to ground in an endless series of motions, each grabbing a seed to carry to a free branch and consume it before returning for another bite. (You ever wonder if birds wouldn’t have to eat quite so much if they just stood still while they ate?)
The world was mainly quiet. Off in the distance, there were the sounds of a neighbor building something, but they were not the sharp, jarring blows of a hammer. Rather, they were muffled, as though apologizing for intruding. All we could hear was the conversations of the jays, the occasional coo of a mourning dove, the bright chattering of a chickadees. A robin’s song. It was so quiet that, when they landed on the wooden feeder, we could hear the faint sound of their feet clasping the wood. It was so quiet that we could hear the breathtaking ffffffffffffffffffft of the birds’ feathers as they moved about.
Mrs. P and I chatted on and off, softly, to not disturb our diners, whose table, after all, was only a few feet away.
Mostly, we just held hands. And smiled.
Words and pictures © 2009 AtHome Pilgrim
All Rights Reserved.