Thanks and celebration

Fri, 04/15/2022 - 5:00am

A few times I have opened the door from the hall to the open entry and heard a flurry of wings, birds in a nest location scouting or building mode I presumed. It is not an issue, as long as they stay out of my way. And my bookcase when all the doors are open.
It is a bit of a haven for them down here, they have dog and horse hair, twigs aplenty, and, this year, bits of the dry knotweed stalks.
At least three years ago — who has any concept of time these days — I had an opportunity to be rid of the one time popular “ornamental” and couldn’t do it, and said just take half. Change comes slowly, the second part was taken a week or two ago, the root balls as hard as petrified wood, dug out and taken off-site.

I’ve no delusions it will be so easily vanquished; the rains and sun will urge little red buds to pop through the earth, but for now there are only little pieces of last year’s growth scattered about, no long, dry, crunchy stalks for Autumn to prance in with and chew on the rug.
Instead, there are bits of straw on the cement floor of the entry. The birds — wrens I think — cannot build behind the snow shovel I never re-hung, but they are creative.
Last night, Autumn wouldn’t come back inside, intent upon barking at something out in the front lot, a goose, a deer, the echo of a peeper, a neighbor’s lights. Usually, at night I go only to the walk and wait for her to be lured by “treats” but that wasn’t working so I grabbed a flashlight and headed out, pausing to shine the beam on a basket in another protected space, behind the door, one I had noticed filling with nesting materials. It didn’t look like much, just a mass of stuff, then I noticed an ordered center.
There is something unsettling about a little bird glaring back from the almost perfected circular hole. I told myself it had to be blinded by the light, it wasn’t really glaring but. . .
I went to the edge of the yard and shone my small light out over the field, now populated with tufts of autumn-colored grasses, the ones that glow under a dark blue sky at the right time in the afternoon. I was seeing these little stands, not my dog, until the flash caught her eyes, two points of yellow in the dark. One doesn’t have to have read many Stephen King novels to be unsettled by bright animal eyes piercing the darkness.

She sauntered toward me, and the monster morphed into my big goofy dog, begrudgingly coming inside for the night.
The daffodils are coming into bloom, in time for Easter. Last Sunday I thought of the lady who sang “The Holy City” — which until a few years ago I knew simply as Jerusalem — on what seemed like every Palm Sunday at church. She wore a little hat and high heels and might have studied voice a bit when she was young. It was, it is, a formidable song, glorious and soaring and memorable. All these years later I just pull up Mahalia Jackson
on my little phone, grand and powerful but evoking another time.
Sunrise Service was on the porch of the church, overlooking the broad Atlantic, and it was cold, then we came inside for breakfast, which I think the
men cooked. It was a long time ago, that memory, back in the ‘60s when a part of the congregation of the Harbor Church still referred to the building as The Adrian, and harbored hope of unloading it in favor of a more manageable space. We had scrambled eggs, quite the treat for those of us accustomed to cold cereal for breakfast, and were home with an awkward gap of time before we went out for Easter Worship.
My mother probably talked about why Easter is when it is; I think she liked the moveable feast quality of it, which slightly mitigated the “just a date they picked” quality of other holidays, this at least required some thought.

Note: This year, thanks again to the DiBiase family, Sunrise Service will be on the Spring House lawn where “the only thing we overlook is the ocean.”
Sunrise is a service that cannot be defined by the time of the celestial event, it’s be there before six o’clock. Maybe next year we’ll get back to some sort of breakfast. As always, all are welcome.

It’s been a long two years and counting. Last Easter we were well into rounds of vaccinations and filled with the optimism that should come with any Easter, any springtime. We had weathered the storm, the summer upcoming would be better than the one past — how could it be otherwise!? The summer was better, people seemed more at ease, then the fall came and while it wasn’t exactly “Groundhog Day” (is that too dated a movie reference? It does seem to be part of the vernacular, was a Super Bowl ad in 2020) all over again, neither was it the wide open highway that had been the fantasy for so long.

Now Ukraine is under siege and I think, again, of my mother, talking of television bringing Vietnam into homes with an impact radio and news reels and print simply did not; I wonder if we have come full circle, if we have seen so much that the impact, after the initial shock is less. Amazingly, it has not fallen off the headline news. They have another week for a miracle, the Eastern Easter is a week later than ours. This year.
Thirteen years ago the late Paul Marte stood up in church during Easter Worship and asked for resolution of the standoff in which Somalian pirates were holding an American merchant captain. Later in the day Paul was offering thanks and celebration for the news that had come through that the captain had been rescued.
It was a good day.