Sunday, September 12, 2004


Friday night I was knocked offline and my phone service was down for a while due to high winds and lashing rains. Couldn't get any work done, so I went downstairs and read a book, watched a movie, and listened to the fury of the wind and watched it bend the pine trees nearly horizontal. (got that, John? HORIZONTAL not vertical)

I finally went to bed to the hum of trees creaking and rain thundering past the windows. The wind was stomping around on the roof and lulled me into fitful sleep, which had nothing to do with Mother Nature's temper tantrum. I rather enjoy her tantrums because they make me feel energized. The only thing missing was the sizzling ozone crackle of purple forked lightning flaring in the black sky to make me feel aroused and excited, but that would not have helped me get to sleep...rather the contrary.

The next afternoon, I went out on the deck for some rain-washed, sun-warmed air and just to feel the sunshine on my bare skin and suddenly noticed one of my pine trees in front of the deck was missing--or rather down. It lay at full length, tangled, ripped roots pointing up at me, obviously uprooted forcibly by the winds. Luckily, it fell away from the deck or I would have noticed it sooner when it scratched against the windows when it fell onto the deck.

Nature has been fickle this year. Summer never really made more than a cameo appearance, sneaking away just when you were sure it was here to stay. Spring snuck in under the radar and stayed close to the ground. Now autumn is making her appearance, gilding the aspens and setting them quaking like gold coins on their slender branches in the wind. Winter will be here all too soon, softening the skeletal fingers of the aspens and freezing the colored leaves from the beautiful purple, gold, and bronze branches of the scrub that now fill the gullies and vales with green shadows, hiding the deer while they graze and mate.

All my plants are inside and have decided summer is here safe inside the thick log walls, leaping for the high pitched ceilings in an attempt to make the best of the warmth and filtered sun thru the deck door windows. The pepper plants I brought in a month ago are full of blossoms that spread their gold and rich orange throats waiting for the fine yellow pollen to hit the shy stamens and begin the pregnant pepper pods that suckle the remaining color and energy from the blossoms as the green pods swell, bloat and push thru the withered colors like babies pushing against a mother's womb.

This morning I found a new blossom, a squash blossom full of golden promise. I looked for the last cannister of film, but they are all full of pictures and my camera is empty and waiting for one more chance to do what it was meant to do--chronicle the birth of another life in my secluded aerie.

Dill seeds are ripening and turning brown, almost ready to pick, as the new dill shoots reach fragrant green feathers into the spaces between and waver toward the warm fingers of the sun beyond the windows. Chamomile flowers are changing and growing and sending the scent of apples on an errant breeze when the windows are open. Tomato plants will soon blossom and offer little green globes to ripen and mingle their juices with the ripening lentils in the next pot. Flowers and greens and life blooms along the wall of windows, safe within the thick log walls and away from Nature's tantrums, winds and capricious winter-tinged moods. And the air is rich with the scent of ripening among earth and sunshine.

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