09 June 2005

Naps and flaps

I got up early this morning and studied, and no sooner did I have my books closed when, wham! An exhaustion wave crashed over me. I thought, Okay, just a fifteen minute nap on the couch and then I’ll really start the day. Yeah. There went the whole morning. Gram didn’t wake me up intentionally today to tell me to rest; I found out later that I was somehow camouflaged without meaning to be (I was wearing my long white terry robe while sleeping on a dark plaid couch), and she couldn’t see me lying there when she went hunting through the house for me. But my rest was cut short anyhow when Izzy, egged on and cheered loudly by Gram, embarked on his daily “rip-snort” through the house. Rip Van Winkle couldn’t have slept through that kind of party. Rude awakening notwithstanding, I have done very little today but flop and read. I feel like my entire body is depressed; it is heavily weary. Tomorrow I go for my annual exam as well as a much-anticipated follow-up on recent events. I’m hoping that by the time this weekend is through I’ll be done with death for a while; I'm ready to come back to life myself.

I felt some guilt about just lolling about the house today, doing no work to speak of other than inventing lunch, but when I tried to understand what would be best for me to do, ready to remedy the ick feeling that I was wasting time–I even prayed about it, it was that bad–only “rest” felt like a reasonable answer. So, I determined to fling off the guilt and I rested–hung out on the couch and let gravity have me. I read almost an entire book, For She is the Tree of Life: Grandmothers through the Eyes of Women Writers. Overall, what a great read. I discovered a wonderful last section of the book I hadn’t noticed before, one dedicated to personal writing prompts, all designed to help the reader articulate her own grandmother memories and stories. I love it–a book that entertains and inspires and then directly stimulates action.

Our hummingbirds haven’t been here since Sunday or Monday. The last time I saw one was in flight over our heads as Rob and I hung our new petunias on Monday. We thought the petunias would attract them even more than the plain sugar-syrup feeder alone, but to our knowledge no one other than fat flies has fed at our window for days. Yesterday while I was grocery shopping I thumbed through a magazine that had a short article describing which flowers invite hummingbirds, and every single one of the flowers was red, and petunias weren’t even listed (though I doubt the list was an exhaustive one–Rob and I have witnessed firsthand pink petunia beds being thoroughly worked by hummingbirds). Were our petunias, somewhere between magenta and purple, clashing with the local hummingbird aesthetic? Were they simply blocking the view of the red feeder? Was it nothing more than the strange June cold snap and the week’s occasional rainfall that had kept them away? Hummingbirds have gotta eat in spite of the weather, right? I confessed to Rob that I’d been praying for the return of our birds, and he quietly confessed the same to me. They have become so much more than a delightful presence; they symbolize our tender hopes.

Rob went to the lumber store this afternoon and came home with a surprise. I went into the kitchen and spotted him outside the window, hanging a new pot of red fuchsias where the petunias had been. He’d asked me earlier which flowers I’d read about in the magazine, and fuchsias were among the advertised few that I could remember the names of. I helped him get the height right for birdwatching, and then he hung our pretty petunias in another conspicuous spot, out of feeder range. The fuchsias made me cry, as everything seems to nowadays. Minutes after we came inside Rob spotted two hummingbirds at the window and shouted for me. I missed them, but I feel sure now that I’ll have many other opportunities to see our friends this season. It’s funny, isn’t it, what becomes very important and finds its way into the language and manners of the heart.

4 comments:

Chemical Billy said...

I'm glad your hummingbirds are back. It isn't so small, Geo, those are the things that stick and sing through our lives.

Jamie said...

Just checking in and saying I love you...hope all is well! Love, James

DogMan said...

I often wonder.... Hope all is well. Say hi when you get a minute.

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