Sunday, June 26, 2011

Eyes Closed and Breathing Deep

Today is the perfect day. It's cloudy. It's already rained once. It's threatening to rain again. I'm sitting on my front porch. In the glider. My head tilted back. Eyes closed. Barely moving my feet. Just enough to make the seat slowly move back and forth. The temperature has dropped with the speed of a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun. From 93 degrees to 71 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Suddenly, it was as if I was on an episode of The Voice. I somehow managed to block everything but what I could hear. Every thought process. Every little worry. Gone. It was just me, and the sounds.

Thundering rumbling. To my right and to my left, birds of every kind singing, chirping, and almost squawking their joy at the sudden break in heat. Several of them so loud, I can feel the strongest urge to open my eyes. To see, if they are perched on the rocking chair next to me. Eyes squished tight, like a child playing hide and seek, I keep listening. To my right, a woodpecker is pounding his history into the tree bark of the tall Pine. The breeze moving across my bare arms and legs feels heavenly. I wonder, if I open my eyes, will I see chill bumps. The texture of the breeze is just that sudden and just that cool.

All of it, almost kin to an early Fall day. The smell of the air of course is different. Summer and Fall smells are so vastly different. Summer smells like hot weedy flowers, wet dirt, lukewarm lake water, and rolling charcoal grills from neighborhood cookouts. Fall smells like burning leaves, fresh pine straw, and the occasional chimney smoke brought about by an early cool morning.

We're never satisfied with the weather. And our ages are a direct reflection of how our particular needs translate. When you're young, you never want rain. You could care less how hot it is, whether the grass and flowers are dying, or if the electric bill is going to be doubled from enjoying the comforts of non-stop air conditioning. As you get older, you of course, worry about NOTHING but all of the above.

Today was the perfect day for me. I had already said several times this weekend, "Oh, how I wish for cooler weather. Oh, how ready I am to see Fall and the relief it brings." It is far too early for any of that, but sitting on my porch, I got a brief, beautiful experience with nature. All the elements for that thirty minutes worked together like a well oiled machine. The perfect storm. And I got it all, simply by listening and smelling. Not talking. Not looking. Just listening. Eyes closed, sensory overload in action.

And at the end of my spectacular, one with nature, hour, my reward. I can smell it long before I can hear it. Rain. Beautiful, sleeting, coming down in sheets, rain. Nature's refreshments for my flowers. Nourishment for my grass. And my eyes still closed, the sweet, wet smell explodes into my brain. Without looking. I know. The drops are dancing in my bird bath, dripping from my Dogwood leaves, and weighing down the net on Zach's basketball goal.

What a beautiful way to bring another Sunday to an end. We are in constant search of affirmation for our happiness. For guarantees of joy. For authenticity of our existance. When all we have to do, is what Mims tells me to do, on those crazy nights when I mumble and grumble that I cannot sleep.  Shut your eyes and close your mouth. Works most every time.

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