Creeping out my back door on a perfect day in May,
Body aching, still in sweat-soaked pjs at 10 am;
Weak and dizzy from an unplanned, day-long fast,
Screeching red-shouldered hawk pierces my pounding brain.
Wind moves the tender spring leaves of white and red oaks;
I sit in filtered shade, cool wind evaporating sweat on my forehead;
I hear chickadees, Carolina wrens, and a pair of barred owls;
Raucous, joyful noise surrounding a quiet body and throbbing head.
I watch two blue jays share a tasty morsel;
For me, a piece of toast, no jelly,
Plus half a cup of black coffee—enough to prevent a headache crescendo,
Austerity seems best for a raging belly.
A gorgeous day for working in my garden, or running on trails,
Meanwhile my muscles ache like I’ve done both;
[I haven’t, of course; I’ve been in bed for the past 15 hours.]
Frustrating, to waste this perfect day.
Instead, I sit quietly (and queasily),
Listening to the drum of a red-bellied woodpecker,
Watching for the upside down nuthatch,
Absorbing the soothing green canopy and cooling breeze.
I don’t feel much better, but perspective helps.
Maybe patience is the lesson nature is teaching me today.
From my chair, I can see tulip-tree flowers, high in the canopy,
Sighing, I know that it’s a lesson I won’t remember long.
The shifting sun aims its rays on my face,
My head can’t take the blinding brightness, so I head back inside;
Pausing to scan a nearby sweet gum for the cardinal I just heard calling,
Accepting, reluctantly, the gift of stillness, and the healing pace of nature.