"To open my eyesand wake up alive in the worldTo open my eyesand fully arrive in the worldWith its beauty and its crueltyWith its heartbreak and its joyWith it constantly giving birth to lifeand to forces that destroyAnd the infinite power of changeAlive in the world"--Jackson Browne
The sky is clear and the air crisp after yesterday’s rain. Though technically still summer, this morning’s 47-degrees already feels like autumn. The scattering of fallen leaves punctuates the anticipation. Two deer stir from their reverie in the orchard, shaking off the last quiet grace of dawn – and no doubt the lingering taste of fallen apples – and lope into the woods. The chickens, of course, are long-awake. Eager in equal measure for the feed and the freedom, they cluck their impatience and, I like to imagine, their gratitude and greeting. It’s hard to mistake Dwayne the Rooster’s persistent crowing for anything but impatience.
I fill the feeders, open the hatches, and retreat back through the gate, my boots showering dew ahead of me with each step.
I’m feeling lazy about the day ahead. Though the heaviest harvest is behind us, there are still leeks in the ground, peppers on the bushes, and purple-hulled peas on the vines. Apples and pears and plums are ready for our attentions, and of course there is the fall clean-up to commence. Some of that will get some of my attentions today, but ragweed season in all its histamined glory is not a helpful workmate, and I’ve little energy for much beyond tissue retrieval and disposal. We’ll see how much or how little I accomplish.
But “accomplishment” is not the measure of the day. The day is its own glory, with or without my initiatives. It is both humbling and enlivening to reconcile with the reality that the morning is indifferent to my productivity. For the moment, then, I relish the light on my face, the cool on my skin, the shiver of delight, and the empty buckets in my hands.
It’s a new day, and I get to be alive within it. I’m grateful.