Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3: Phoebes in the Trees

After finishing what I can hardly even call a run (one-mile, doctor-prescribed sort of rehab stint as I repair a back muscle), I stretched and did my strengthening exercises on the back lawn. Primarily solar-powered, I spent much of my time just lying on my mat admiring the patterns of leaves overhead and recharging in the morning light. Birds sang--blue jay, phoebe, song sparrow. A waxwing and what I think was a flicker passed silently overhead. An osprey's high-pitched calls carrying from Camden Harbor punctuated the calm. I savor such moments with my regimen completed and some time to fully relax and enjoy what's in front of me. For a few moments, at least, I feel strong and serene.

In this mood of mellow alertness, my mind sees everything as aesthetic, as something to note. Two phoebes darting overhead like living shadows amid the oak leaves, tails wagging, is not an unusual sighting. But because I observed them while happily lying on my back under the perfect blue sky of the first day of a long weekend, they seemed like something special--the ordinary transformed simply by the mood of the observer. Two phoebes, clearly a mated pair, fly-catching together on a summer morning. And nothing required of me but to lie there absorbing sun and watch them.

As I type this, one of those phoebes has perched on my clothesline, as if to assert that it's today's haiku inspiration, and a robin sings his cheery song somewhere down by the river. I have a feeling this is going to be a wonderful day to be alive. But aren't they all?

Phoebes in the trees,
sunlight, and nearby, ocean--
a day to savor.

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