As the temperature rises, I head for the porch protected under a canopy of leaves created by an ash tree we planted years ago. Honestly, I can’t complain a warm breeze brushes against my bare arms and across the back of my neck. Warm, but somehow cooling as well. This is the perfect place to write. My mother loved to be surrounded by greenery and bird song. Right here, I have both. In the distance, a dog barks, in rhythmic yaps sounding so much like my husband’s iphone that it prompts me to search each corner, under cushions and beside his beloved tower of library books. No phone. It must be a dog. Chuckling, I recall times I have been initially duped by imposters-fake flowers presenting as real, a pelican statue on the Florida gulf and plastic wood. It is all in the touch, the eye, the ear (in the case of the phone), that at first, I cannot always decipher authentic from fake reproductions.
When I am surrounded by real, my heart quickens and I feel the blood course through my veins. Pausing, I note this particular moment birds singing some near, some far, yet positioned to create a symphony of sound from all directions. Rushing out of my daughter’s elementary school, delicate white petals catch my eye along the stair railing. I bend low to get an eye-level view of the white roses. With each moment that passes, I reposition myself to get an alternate view of the bush, laden heavy with bud. It’s all so real.
It is with each morning upon rising, I commune with the living. Pails weigh on either side as I trudge out to the coop, to greet my hens. This routine grounds me and awakens me, opens me to the possibilities of this world. Slowing down and noticing the details of the living fills me with gratitude. Those details are spiritual and there can be no substitutions.