There’s a little patch of bright green grass I’ve found, hidden by a surrounding of junipers.
Tonight I sat there in the perfect cool of a vernal Central Oregon evening as the light faded.
Scrub jay, quail, meadowlark.
Robin. Cow mooing. Sparrows.
Crickets, quail. The gentle coo of a mourning dove.
A far-away Great Horned Owl, only twice.
A Red-Tailed Hawk is sitting on a powerline post that reaches high into the air. He screams, responding to a distant relative. The second appears, alights beside him, and they scream at each other until the first flies off. The second continues to call, perhaps displeased at the dog, who is wandering about quite contentedly, sniffing the bases of tall plants and short trees. He is never so at peace as when he is in open space; he requires a certain kind of freedom to be truly satisfied and I find that it is the same kind I deny myself because of all the things I “have to do.”
A magpie drifts by silently. Thunderclouds move in. I put a yarrow leaf between my front teeth, but it’s older now and too bitter. The golden currants are still covered in veiny, green bulbs; I wonder what chance I have of beating the birds to a single ripe berry. Crescent deer tracks are everywhere, but I still haven’t seen them. I watch for them carefully, though, because the dog loses all mind and goes pure instinct when he spots one.
He runs laps as we head back, kicking up the loose, dusty ash that is the substrate here. A quote by Rumi comes to mind: I am the dust that dances in the light.