Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Gift

Celosia or Cockscomb


Laced in a ribbon of perfection was this gift of unbelievable proportion that can only be appreciated by those who have been given so many gifts in their gray-haired days and this afternoon it fell in my lap.  Reading a P.D. James mystery, which requires some work on my part as my short term memory is challenged with the introduction of each new but well-described character, I took a glass of white wine out on the deck with the book in hand and fell into the chair sighing as I leaned back in the dappled shade of a late autumn afternoon.  Chores were done and party plans for a volunteer who was departing had been completed.

As I rested my head, I looked high in the clear blue sky directly above and saw between the dance of still-green leaves two osprey playing in sweeping lazy circles, perhaps getting into a Zen mood for their long journey south in the coming weeks.  The angle of the sun caught the soft snowy white of the underside of their wings with each circle they made.  Their dance had been well rehearsed in years before and it was a synchronized ballet of love and friendship as the steady breezes of changing weather caressed their backs and lifted them higher.

I turned back to my book, but soon was distracted by three red-naped flickers whose rusty call demanded my attention.  They were thrilled at the full larder in some dead tree limbs high above or perhaps they were just joyful at the perfect weather that had finally arrived after a hot summer.  They hopped from tree top to tree top in noisy joy acting like teenagers given an early break from school.

Before I could return to the story of the novelist who had hung himself (or was it actually murder?) the ducks in the river started laughing like old men as if some dirty joke had been told.  Their flat quacking laughter carried all the way up the river.  I could just see the Vs cutting the surface of the green water through the tree trunks as they moved back and forth calling names and laughing.

The final gift on this precious afternoon was the lilting song of the common house wren perching on the snag of a nearby tree to celebrate sunset.  The call was so pure and sweet and phenomenal because it came forth in such silver song from such a small brown bird.

Who needs pearls, rare orchids or Swiss chocolate when my neighbors provide this talent for free?

15 comments:

Granny Annie said...

And thank you for this gift.

Angie said...

WOW, I fell into this post and came up for air thinking I had actually been right there beside you, in person, holding my breath as this gift unfolded. Thank you for such a precious and unique gift.

Celia said...

A breathe of autumn for your reader. Nature'ss variety show. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

ha you were given some beautiful distractions to your reading time...smiles...i dont mind those...that pic is like wow....love the little fur on it...

Bob Bushell said...

Great photo, and the way you tell about osprey and the chattering of the ducks, I love it all.

joeh said...

Love the bird picture...Cedar Waxwing is my favorite. They used to come to our berry bush every spring the flock would land and take off in unison much like a school of fish. My mom called them "Bandit Birds."

cranky old man

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I don't have nearly the variety of birds you described, but I always say they bring me more enjoyment than TV! I've only spotted a flicker once since I moved here and hoped to see it again. I'm still hoping. Loved your story. A good book and a glass of white wine outside with the birds sounds like a perfect afternoon!

Lynn said...

Just perfect, Tabor ~ love that color on you . . .

Red said...

The critters around you are a real treat. A bald eagle floated over my place this week.

Roshni AaMom said...

I love P.D. James, but I too would be hard-pressed to concentrate on reading with all that loveliness around me!!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Linda Reeder said...

Such beautiful descriptions of such beauty. But I still want that Swiss chocolate.

Dave said...

Your descriptive prose is really enjoyable to read, as this was Tabor. Well done and thanks. No pictures of the birds overhead? Pity. You described them so well. That flower in your photo was nice. What is it? - Dave

Dave King said...

Sounds like an ecstatic afternoon! So beautifully described that I shared a tad of ecstasy with you. I did also relate to your difficulty in keeping tabs on a multiplicity of characters, though. I know this difficulty only too well - I find it even harder when watching a film or video, and find that surprising. Stupendous post. Thanks very much.

Pauline said...

Hard to keep your eyes on a book page when nature is so much more entertaining. I like the idea of the osprey getting into a Zen mood.

Barb said...

What I like best, Tabor, is that you recognized these sweet gifts and took time to appreciate them. Enjoy your perfect fall.