It’s Quiet Now

So quiet. This porch.

Save the distant barking of a distressed dog and an occasional tweet of the natural kind – not electronic twitching of opinions, this time brings me such peace. After a long and confusing week, I find sitting here … now … nicely nice. There are a few visually annoying sight lines avoided by simply closing my eyes. Even the smell of grass – cut earlier by a fine crew of hard working young men – still has that fresh smell of greenness attached to the air casually blowing under my nose.

Yes, this is really nice now. Now is a nice place to be. How wonderful is at the moment?

Here, now, is all we have. It is said too often, but not appreciated enough, that we have only moments to live our lives. The hours and days only exist on the canvas because the minutes prop them up on the easel. One stroke at a time, using beautiful blues, reds, and yellows of curiosity and grace, we paint what others see in us. And it renews – over and over again – when we value now.

Simple traffic noise in the near, distant space is far enough away to filter through the few trees between us. It is a mere swaddled sound as it reaches my ears.

The distressed barking has stopped for the moment. Something, or someone has calmed the canine concern. Birds continue their songs in the trees, however, as I expect they should. Nested little ones need to eat, husbands and wives must communicate, and predator warnings are necessary. These are neighborhood nows that continue forward without the recognition of self-reflection …as I sit in a recliner on this shady, comfortable porch. They move their miracles forward, regardless. I am simply another brush of color on their palate of life.

So many shapes and sizes around. I can close my eyes and see a variety of not only physical beings, but also ideas as well. From big and tall notions changing the world – like vaccines for pandemic viruses – to small proposals such as smiles, hugs, and handshakes. Both are connections to the world outside ourselves and so important to the now we are experiencing together.

I have little to taste now except for the Arby’s roast beef sitting casually by my side. In all likelihood, it is less fresh than it was a few minutes ago when I first entertained the idea of sliding it over my lips. Fortunately, one was already consumed prior, so this second sandwich is not a tragedy. The diet Pepsi is flat, unfortunately, so I am slightly disappointed in my beverage choice. Humidity is less drippy compared to days past and I get the impression folks around these parts are settling into a late summer / early-August routine.

This is now. Now is Covid-19, masking, the last day in July of a ridiculously crazy, little over three months from an election, out of one’s mind, take a deep breath, … 2020.

We have to keep our senses about us, right? I have mine. Today is all about what I see, hear, smell, taste, and … can say to you.

Enjoy the now. You are special. The now is here for you to have, hold, and cherish. Pull up a chair next to me on my porch.

It’s quiet.

Words of a Feather

More than one happily danced on the sidewalk the other morning when I went to work. Back home hours later, I saw this single feather look up at me without any hope of returning to normal. It seemed lost. Although detached from a gracious host hours – possibly days – earlier, familiarity among its peers that morning must have provided some hope. Now? Alone on a sidewalk.

Where did the other friends go? One can guess with the wind. This would be a logical assumption as much needed rain has been pushing through the area lately … and with it, breezy heat-relieving cooling sensations. Today, light rain continues. It is another early morning quiet and that beautiful feather has been tickling my imagination since I carefully stepped over it yesterday.

Words of a feather … stuck together in my mind since that chance meeting. Why now? Why this small, almost weightless object before my eyes on a semi-hot, light breezy day in July?

It is a symbol of things. What else could it be? A representation, a reflection, a return. A “What R we trying to get back to in the midst of all this confusion?” kind of thing.

This feather, alone, with very little guidance save the occasional kind puff of freshness passing by to urge it forward. A breath of fresh air that will, most assuredly, not return it to the very similar looking friends nestled around from its youth. That innocence is gone as are all the familiar long-looking gray, black, and white ideas holding hands with it.

I do not know why this feather detached from its host. Perhaps tragedy or a simple act of nature? What I can gather from my amateur detective senses, is … it looked like a crime scene. Maybe a larger preditor – perhaps a neighborhood cat – was involved? I simply don’t know.

This is our story as well in 2020. We, simply, don’t know.

We are simple feathers.

This is a time we represent a separation from what we knew as normal. Our ordinary lives shed us like yesterday’s news and replaced moments with masks, unknown futures, and closed minds. We reflect back to a time when our friends friended us on Facebook without bias or preconceptions about race, gender, or religious beliefs. A return to normals like feeling comfortable in our favorite cafe or caring for a stranger by a gentle, “I’m here for you” hand on his shoulder is desired by many.

We R the simple feather now, representing our individual lives the best way we know how. Replacing old normals with new ones while trying to reflect recently matured views about how society should be … as birds of one United feather, we need to stick together. Gray, black, white and all colors in between. On all the sidewalks in every neighborhood … in every city, town, and borough.

My words are simply those … words. Predatory forces are out there willing to separate us from our friends and family, beliefs, ideals, and fantastic individual strengths. Stand strong with more than words – together, 6-feet apart if necessary – and live the new normals with renewed energy.

The early morning rain hasn’t dampened my spirit as I will head out to see if that special feather is still there. If so, picking it up to eventually place it among the reminder/knick-knacks at my desk is so much a possibility.

Possibilities are all we have, right? Remind yourself of them frequently. “Tickle your fancy” with an imaginary feather once in a while. And, if you’re lucky enough to find one at your feet during an early morning walk, remember: words of a feather stick together.